Covid long and osteopathy
COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, has had a profound impact on global health since it emerged in December 2019. While many individuals recover satisfactorily after contracting the virus, some continue to struggle with persistent symptoms for months or longer. This condition has become known as "long COVID" or "post-COVID syndrome".
Long COVID is characterized by a varied set of symptoms, including extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, headaches and loss of taste or smell. As medical research into this condition continues to evolve, more and more patients are seeking alternative approaches to alleviate their persistent symptoms. Osteopathy, an alternative medicine that emphasizes balance and mobility of the body, has attracted growing interest as a complementary treatment method for long COVID.
Osteopathy is a holistic medical approach that views the body as an interconnected unit, capable of self-healing when in balance. Osteopaths are health professionals trained to assess and treat the body's muscular and joint mobility, using gentle manual techniques to restore structural balance.
The aim of osteopathy is to restore the body's functionality and mobility by stimulating its natural healing capacity. This approach can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation and improve everyday life.
Symptoms of long covid
- Persistent fatigue: Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms reported by patients with long COVID. It could be severe and long-lasting.
- Shortness of breath: Many patients experienced persistent breathing difficulties, even after their initial recovery from COVID-19.
- Muscle and joint pain: Muscle and joint pain were frequent and could be chronic.
Headaches: Headaches, including migraines, are a frequent symptom of COVID long.
Persistent loss of taste and smell: Some patients did not fully recover their sense of taste and smell after initial healing.
Sleep problems: Insomnia, waking fatigue and other sleep-related problems are common.
Brain fog (cognitive): Many patients reported persistent problems with concentration, memory and cognition.
Heart palpitations: Cardiac symptoms such as palpitations have been reported in some patients with COVID long.
Osteopathy: a treatment for long covid
For patients with long COVID, osteopathy offers several potential benefits. Here's how this approach can benefit:
Headaches and long covid
COVID long headaches are varied and can be described as tension headaches, migraines or sinusitis-type headaches. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including inflammation, muscle tension, joint dysfunction and persistent stress. These headaches can be disabling and compromise the quality of life of patients with long COVID.
With cranial manipulations, osteopaths can perform gentle manipulations of the skull. These manipulations can help relieve tension headaches and many other headaches.
Gentle manipulation of the cervical region (neck) can help relieve muscular tension, improve mobility of the cervical joints and thus relieve headaches.
Myofascial release involves applying gentle, continuous pressure to connective tissue (fascia) to release areas of muscle tension. This can be useful for tension headaches associated with muscular tension.
The osteopath may also recommend specific exercises to strengthen neck and shoulder muscles, improve posture and reduce muscle tension, which can help prevent recurrent headaches.
Some patients suffer from persistent respiratory problems after contracting COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, difficulty in taking deep breaths, reduced sporting performance, chest or rib pain, and so on.
Osteopathy can help improve ribcage mobility and promote deeper breathing through joint mobilization techniques, work on intercostal muscles and the diaphragm, and thoracic manipulations.
Fatigue and long covid
An osteopath can help reduce the fatigue associated with long COVID by taking a holistic approach that aims to restore the patient's balance and overall health. Here's how an osteopath can help reduce fatigue in the context of long COVID:
- Comprehensive assessment: During the initial consultation, the osteopath will carry out a detailed assessment of the patient's health, including a discussion of medical history, specific symptoms and stress factors. This assessment will help to better understand the potential causes of fatigue and determine the best treatment approach.
- Reducing muscle tension: Fatigue can be exacerbated by muscle tension, particularly in the neck, shoulders and back. The osteopath can use manual techniques to release muscle tension and improve blood circulation, which can help reduce fatigue.
- Improving Mobility: Mobility restrictions in the body can lead to increased fatigue. The osteopath can work on joint mobility, including the spine, shoulders and hips, to improve overall body function.
- Stress management: Chronic stress is common in patients with long COVID and can be a major factor in fatigue. The osteopath can teach stress management techniques, such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation, to help reduce stress and associated fatigue.
- Nutrition and hydration advice: The osteopath can also provide nutrition and hydration advice to ensure that the patient receives the nutrients needed to support recovery and energy.
- Interdisciplinary collaboration: Osteopaths can work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, physiotherapists and psychologists, to ensure comprehensive management of symptoms related to COVID long, including fatigue.
Persistent loss of taste and smell (anosmia)
Anosmia, i.e. loss of sense of smell, is one of the persistent symptoms of long COVID. Although osteopathy cannot directly cure anosmia, it can help indirectly by treating certain aspects that may contribute to this problem. Here's how an osteopath might act on anosmia in a patient with long COVID:
Improving blood circulation: Osteopaths can use manual techniques to improve blood circulation in the face and skull area. Improved blood circulation can promote healing and regeneration of tissues, including the olfactory tissues responsible for the sense of smell.
Reducing inflammation: Chronic inflammation is one of the possible causes of anosmia in long COVID. Osteopathic techniques can help reduce inflammation in the body, which could potentially help restore olfactory function.
Stress management: Stress can aggravate the symptoms of COVID long, including anosmia.
Restoring postural balance: The osteopath can assess the patient's posture, as poor posture can affect blood circulation and nervous system function. Improved posture can promote better tissue oxygenation, which can be beneficial for the recovery of the sense of smell.
Cranio-sacral mobility: The osteopath can work on the mobility of the cranium and sacrum, which are important regions of the cranio-sacral system. The aim is to have an impact on the olfactory nerves.
It's important to note that anosmia related to long COVID can be complex and multifactorial, and there's no guarantee that osteopathy will restore the sense of smell. Treatment of anosmia should be approached holistically, in collaboration with other health professionals, such as ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialists. Rehabilitation may be necessary. Osteopaths can play a complementary role by helping to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and manage stress, which can potentially support recovery of olfactory function in patients with long COVID.
Conclusion on covid long and osteopathy
In conclusion, COVID-19 has left its lasting mark on global health, with the emergence of "long COVID" or "post-COVID syndrome". This condition is characterized by a range of persistent symptoms, from extreme fatigue to respiratory problems, headaches and loss of taste or smell. As medical research into this condition continues to evolve, more and more patients are seeking solutions to alleviate their stubborn symptoms.
Osteopathy, a holistic approach to health, offers hope for many patients with long-standing COVID. By focusing on the body's balance and mobility, osteopaths work to restore functionality and overall health. This approach can help relieve headaches, improve breathing and reduce fatigue, all symptoms frequently associated with long COVID.
In particular, tension, migraine and sinus headaches can benefit from gentle osteopathic manipulation of the skull and cervical region. In addition, osteopathy can improve breathing by working on thoracic mobility and the rib cage, which can help patients with persistent breathing problems. Finally, for those struggling with chronic fatigue, osteopathy can reduce muscle tension, improve mobility and teach stress management techniques.
It's important to note that the anosmia, or loss of smell, associated with long COVID can be complex to treat, but osteopathy can also play a role by improving circulation, reducing inflammation and helping to manage stress.
However, it is crucial to remember that osteopathy is only one part of a multidisciplinary approach to the management of long COVID. Patients need to work closely with qualified healthcare professionals, including medical specialists, to develop a treatment plan tailored to their individual needs. Together, these approaches can offer hope for recovery and improved quality of life for those affected by long-onset COVID.
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