The majority of COVID patients experience relatively mild symptoms and recover quickly with no apparent lasting damage – they are the lucky ones. Some are not so lucky. Some feel thoroughly run down for weeks or months after the immediate infection while a (thankfully) fairly small number have symptoms that just drag on and on even though they no longer have active virus (the notorious “long COVID”). The symptoms involved are very variable – the fact that symptoms of the disease are hugely variable is one of the characteristics of this virus.
The underlying principle on which Osteopathy is built is that, under normal circumstances our bodies fix themselves and therefore, if the body is not fixing itself then something is preventing those normal healing processes from taking place. The Osteopath’s aim is to find those barriers to healing, do something to remove them and let the body get on with fixing itself. So what about COVID?
The Osteopathic approach to treating post-COVID patients is to look at everything we can that isn’t working properly and to ask: What can I do that might improve the way that is working? An obvious example is breathing. We all know that SARS-Cov2 (to give the virus its proper name) is a respiratory virus – it gets into us through our airways and in serious cases lung damage is one of the characteristic effects. The ‘COVID cough’ is so distinct and characteristic that someone has even trained a computer to recognise it. When you cough a lot you use the diaphragm repeatedly, sometimes to much that the diaphragm itself becomes painful and the ribs to which it attaches may get irritated at the joints where they attach to the spine. As a result some post COVID patients have symptoms relating to their breathing that aren’t a result of lung tissue damage, but a mechanical problem affecting the breathing mechanics instead. There are many other possible mechanical effects in other parts of the body that may be left over after the disease itself has ended. That’s where your Osteopath comes in.
So if you have had COVID and the infection is over but you still don’t feel right, it could be worth giving your Osteopath a call…