Long Covid (include?)

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You may or may not have heard about Long COVID, or even thought it was actually a thing, but unfortunately, it is and we are still at a stage where our medical experts know little about it.

What is Long COVID?

Long COVID is where symptoms of COVID-19 remain, or develop, long after the initial infection – usually after 4 weeks. Symptoms of long COVID can last for weeks or sometimes months, and include extreme fatigue (tiredness) shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain or tightness.

Long COVID affects an unknown portion of the population for an unknown amount of time. However, it is common enough and serious enough to draw attention from many experts who specialize in chronic conditions.

Who gets Long COVID?

Continuous gathering of data by researchers is showing

All ages can get Long COVID including


Middle aged

Young adults and


Men are shown to have more severe infection periods  but women are 4 times more likely to have long COVID symptoms.

Research is also showing that 30-40% of cases will have Long COVID symptoms at 6 months or more from their initial COVID infection.

Unfortunately, this means that if you do find yourself with Long COVID symptoms that you might be in for the long haul.

Long term problems after an initial infection is not something that is unique to COVID-19. There are other infections, like the flu and Ebola viruses, that have survivors suffering long term complications.

Figuring out the causes of Long COVID is vitally important for the people who have it, and the people who are caring for them. This is the only way we can reliably reduce the burden of illness and help those who are affected regain their health and vitality.

What does Long COVID look like?

Common signs and symptoms of Long COVID can be

  • Debilitating tiredness and fatigue
  • Brain Fog
  • Loss of cognitive power
  • Other generalized symptoms can be
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Cough
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness on standing
  • Dysautonomia
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Fever
  • Hair Loss
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Mast Cell activation syndrome
  • Memory Loss
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Mood Changes
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Post-exertional Malaise
  • PTSD
  • Rash
  • Sleeping problems
  • Stomach Pain
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Tinnitus

This extensive list of symptoms is the exact reason it is proving difficult to diagnose, or even for experts to come up with a common diagnosis measure. The very long list is something that anybody on any given day with or without Long COVID could experience.

We still need to learn more with time.

What can be done to help?

At this point in time there is no widely agreed upon treatment protocol for Long COVID. Most people are referred to a specialist in the field of the strongest presenting symptom to specialize in that area.

Beyond that, it is mainly a matter of finding coping mechanisms that will help improve function and quality of life.

Some evidence suggests that up to one third of Long COVID patients find their symptoms improve after they get a COVID vaccination.

The most agreed upon way of coping is pacing yourself, setting goals for activity and gradually increasing them as a way of rebuilding stamina and strength.

Can Massage Therapy help?

Massage Therapy will most likely not solve the problem of Long COVID, it doesn’t have the ability to dissolve scar tissue in the lungs or restore damaged cells in the central nervous system.

What massage therapy may do for people suffering from Long COVID is help with managing some of the symptoms, especially those of Fatigue, pain, sleep, mood disorders (especially anxiety and Post traumatic Stress Disorder).

If you, or someone you care for is suffering from Long COVID a massage treatment can help relax the body, help disconnect from fight or flight mode and help restore rest and digest mode. It can help the body relax and help build strength and stamina for recovery.

If you think you Massage therapy could help you through your recovery make a booking with one of our Massage Therapists

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This article is a summary from an Article ‘Unpacking the Long Haul: What you need to know about massage and long COVID’ by Ruth Werner,

Massage & Myotherapy Australia is proud to provide members access to an article with permission from our partners at Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP). The article, ‘Unpacking the Long Haul: What you need to know about massage and long COVID’ by Ruth Werner, has been written to inform therapists on what they need to know about treating clients who are affected by long COVID, including the risks of treating a client with long COVID and what aspects of long COVID match the benefits that massage therapy can provide.

About the author: Ruth Werner is an educator, writer, and retired massage therapist with a passionate interest in massage therapy research and the role of bodywork for people who live with health challenges. Her groundbreaking textbook, A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology was first published in 1998, and is now in its seventh edition, published by Books of Discovery. Ruth was also a presenter at Massage & Myotherapy Australia’s 2021 International Virtual Conference.

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