Post COVID-19 Muscles Weakness and Disuse Atrophy

After testing positive for COVID-19, the average stay at hospital or isolation at home is almost 14 days and the duration extends with critical illness. Fatigue is one of the most common symptom of COVID-19 which leads to inactivity during isolation period.

Approximately 1% muscle strength is decreased with bed rest per day in healthy people.  In two weeks of isolation, COVID-19 patients can lose almost 14% or more of their muscle strength Patients with critical illness can lose more than 1%. Decreased muscle strength further leads to disuse muscle atrophy due to inactivity.

Atrophy is decrease in muscle mass and force of contraction. The inactivity and detaining of pelvic, core, leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles lose their strength and muscle bulk first than other body muscles. These muscles are important for an individual to stand, walk, and climb stairs and other functional activities.

If you have recently recovered from COVID-19 and have lost your strength and muscle bulk, physiotherapist can help you recover it by incorporating progressive resistance exercises (PRE). Don’t delay the strength training in order to achieve your muscle strength, flexibility, bulk and functional activities level.

Always Remember

“USE IT OR LOSE IT”- Early intervention will lead to better outcome.