What is long COVID?

Up to 10-15% of patients with COVID-19 infection are experiencing long-COVID. The most common symptoms include fatigue, post-exertional malaise, dyspnoea, and cognitive impairments such as brain fog and difficulty concentrating. Symptoms can persist for several months (at least 8 months for up to 91% of patients) and can result in significant disability, greatly impacting a person’s quality of life.


How can physio and exercise physiology help Long COVID patients?

At Higher Function, we are closely following the available data from Australia and other countries around the world to safely facilitate a return to normal life with long-COVID. These guidelines closely follow other fatigue driven conditions we have been successfully treating for years including Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.


What do we do to help Long COVID patients?

Pacing to identify physical activities such as housework, cognitive activities including work or study, stress, and exercise to maximise a patient’s quality of life and function without compromising recovery or entering a boom-bust cycle resulting in deterioration of symptoms

Exercise – oxygen saturation, dyspnoea, and blood pressure, as well as post-exertional malaise is monitored to determine a patient’s capacity to continue or commence an exercise program. Exercise is focussed on progressively improving strength and cardiovascular capacity which can be achieved through individual exercise programs, or group classes within the clinic.

Return to Activity – Taking mandated rest from activities can leave individuals feeling like they are behind and need to catch up, resulting in doing too much, too soon. Exercise Physiologists can provide individuals with appropriate advice on how to make a gradual return to work/sport/activity without increasing the risk of injury or exacerbations of symptoms.

Nervous System Regulation strategies including meditation, breathing exercises and body scanning to manage dyspnoea, insomnia, stress, anxiety, and depression which have been highly associated with long-COVID. This can be taught individually or through weekly meditation classes run at our clinic (coming soon!)

Education and advice on appropriate rest strategies, overexertion and avoiding pushing through limits.

Work holistically with general practitioner’s, specialists, and other allied health in managing this chronic illness. We understand that long-COVID is a complex, multisystem condition that will require team management


We accept Medicare Team Care Arrangement Plans, working alongside other healthcare professionals providing regular correspondence to ensure cohesive management and support of patients.

Our therapists treating long-COVID are Sam Catherall (Exercise Physiologist), Ryan Leyland (Physiotherapist), Natasha Barry (Physiotherapist). Book online here.

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Higher Function Team [email protected]
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