Post-COVID Recovery Program
We understand the need for care and compassion more than ever for our patients suffering from Post-Acute COVID Syndrome (PACS). Our PACS program caters to each patient’s individual needs, taking them through a supervised three-phase protocol. There is a wide range of post-acute COVID-19 symptoms including, but not limited to:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Increased heart rate
- Decreased exercise/activity tolerance
Here's what patients can expect in each phase of their post-COVID rehabilitation:
- The patient will go through a supervised set of custom exercises. Throughout this phase, we look at his or her response to the activities using what’s called a Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE).
- We try to maintain a stable RPE, putting rest periods in place if it increases too quickly. Symptom stabilization is the key.
- Constant vital monitoring is also the norm in Phase 1. You’ll not only be trained on self-monitoring but also energy pacing and breathing techniques. Fatigue – a major issue that PACS patients face— will also be tackled in this phase.
- In Phase 2, patients progress to graded aerobic exercises. At this point, there’s a continued effort on stabilizing symptoms and increasing aerobic load. We also keep monitoring vitals as well as fatigue and exertion.
- This phase typically lasts about eight weeks but could be longer depending on the patient’s response to the exercises.
- At this phase, our therapists start introducing graded submaximal aerobic training. We use peak exercise capacity and heart rate zone to measure progress, with the goal of enhancing overall aerobic capacity and strength.
- While therapists may set individual benchmarks, the patient should be able to alternate aerobic training days with strength-training days at this point.
We can help establish a safe and gradual exercise program focused on strengthening, stretching, core stabilization, posture, and pain relief. As you progress and your endurance improves, your therapist will focus on exercises and activities to help you return to normal day-to-day life and recreational activities. It’s time to get back to doing the things you enjoy and love!
This service is available at any of our three convenient outpatient rehab locations:
Andover Medical Center
323 Lowell Street Andover, MA 01810
Andover/North Andover YMCA
165 Haverhill Street Andover, MA 01810
Marston Medical Center
25 Marston Street, Suite 106 Lawrence, MA 01841
978-683-4000, ext. 2061
Disclaimer: Recommendations and clinical applications in this program are not peer-reviewed but based on clinician discretion. As COVID-19 is an evolving condition, the program is subject to change as new evidence arises.