MOTION Post-COVID Recovery Program: What to Expect

By Puneet Dhaliwal, PT, DPT, MA, NCS MOTION – Park Slope (New York Presbyterian)

Whether directly or indirectly, we’ve all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you or your loved ones have experienced the virus firsthand, you know that it not only takes a physical toll on the body but also a mental toll. While many people have bounced back to full health after COVID-19, others haven’t had the same journey.

COVID-19 Recovery Program

As some people continue to deal with lingering symptoms, we here at MOTION are uniquely qualified to help. 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. Our mission: to get the patient back to their pre-COVID self.

Here’s what you can expect in each phase.

Phase 1

During the initial phase – or Phase 1 – a 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.

Phase 2

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.

Phase 3

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’re Here for You

The road to recovery for patients with Post-Acute COVID Syndrome may be a long one, but our therapists can get you to the finish line. We are uniquely qualified to help: book an appointment today.

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.