Recovering from COVID-19

rehabilitationA New Program Provides Rehabilitation Services to Coronavirus Survivors.

Whether you’re experiencing lingering effects from a mild COVID-19 infection or were hospitalized and are experiencing fatigue and other medical problems, you might benefit from rehabilitation at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus (MMCSC). The hospital has launched the COVID-19 Survivors Rehabilitation and Recovery Program to help patients recuperate. “Patients are experiencing a lot of health problems related to the virus,” says Charles Markowitz, MD, Medical Director of the Department of Rehabilitation at MMCSC.

Doctors have discovered that the virus can lead to reduced lung function, cardiac problems, kidney failure, skin rashes, strokes, dizziness, blood clots, low blood pressure, urinary retention and cognitive impairment. It can also exacerbate diabetes. There are a few explanations for this: The body’s aggressive response to the virus can cause inflammation, and the virus itself can damage the cells lining blood vessels. The medications used to treat the virus, such as steroids and those that maintain blood pressure, can also lead to side effects.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

The MMCSC program offers many rehabilitation services, such as outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, electromyography (EMG) testing for nerve problems, electrocardiogram (EKG) testing to measure the heart’s electrical activity, and pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation. The hospital also provides wound care, mental health counseling and vascular treatment and testing. “We take a multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation,” says Dr. Markowitz. The providers discuss each patient’s progress to ensure their needs are being met. Patients who are experiencing weakness can use parallel bars to practice walking and devices to help them stand better. Patients with fatigue and breathing problems can benefit from pulmonary therapy. “They can walk on a treadmill or perform arm exercises while their oxygen and heart rate are monitored,” says Dr. Markowitz. Each patient receives a customized treatment plan. “With various interventions, our patients improve,” he says.

Are You a Candidate For Rehabilitation?

The following symptoms can be treated in the COVID-19 Survivors Rehabilitation and Recovery Program:

  • anxiety, depression and/or insomnia
  • chest discomfort, palpitations and/or poor endurance with physical activity
  • shortness of breath, coughing and/or pain with deep breathing
  • muscle pain or weakness, joint pain and/or stiffness
  • impaired or altered sensation or numbness, radiating pain in the limbs and/or localized weakness in the legs/feet or hands
  • balance problems, weakness, new visual problems, hearing difficulties, difficulty thinking and/or confusion
  • difficulty chewing or swallowing and/or difficulty speaking
  • difficulty urinating and/or urinary incontinence
  • poor appetite, nausea or vomiting, frequent diarrhea, gastrointestinal discomfort and/or bowel incontinence
  • bedsores or other skin sores involving the lower back and/or limbs or feet

If you suffered from COVID-19, either at home or in the hospital, don’t hesitate to seek follow up care to get your life back on track. Call the COVID-19 Survivors Rehabilitation and Recovery Program at 732.942.5921 or or speak with your primary care physician today. Learn more about rehabilitation services at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus.