There are many different reasons that someone with Long Covid may benefit from using a mobility aid.
Not everyone diagnosed with Long Covid has the same conditions, symptoms, or symptom severity. For some aids may not be necessary, for some ambulatory use only (used as needed) and others they are needed for all mobility.
Orthostatic Intolerance / Dizziness, nausea, collapse or fainting
Orthostatic Intolerance like Dysautonomia, POTS, and Orthostatic Hypotension can cause the heart rate and blood pressure to become erratic, resulting in dizziness and fainting. This instability of the nervous system can greatly interfere with everyday life. Mobility aids can lower the risk of falls causing serious injury. They also allow you or your loved one to enjoy more activities by relieving the stress of constantly monitoring symptoms to prevent a collapse.
Energy conservation & Post-expertional malaise (PEM)
Studies are showing that a large majority of Long Haulers experience Post-exertional Malaise, a worsening of symptoms after activities. It is extremely important for this group of patients to practice pacing to conserve their energy and avoid permanent limitations. An electric wheelchair or scooter can decrease the amount of energy needed to perform a task. They can allow you (or your loved one) to do more of the things you want since you. do not need to use energy on walking.
Neurological conditions such as: movement and spasticity impairments (tremor, clonus, ataxia, dystonia etc), foot drop, abnormal gait can occur post infection. These may be temporary, intermittent and/or permanent requiring the use of mobility aids.
Pain can keep you from enjoying activities you otherwise would not due to the additional strain on your body.
This list is not comprehensive but some of the more common reasons that you or your loved one may choose to use a mobility aid.
What Aids are There?
When choosing a mobility aid that’s right for you (or your loved one) you will want to consider what areas they could use the extra help. It’s not uncommon to have different aids for different situations.
For example, taking a folding chair or stool when going on a short trip can insure we have a place to sit if we become dizzy. A wheelchair may be necessary for longer outings that will require lots of standing.
Some of us need a power wheelchair to get around in our homes, while others only need it when outside of the home. And our day-to-day needs may change.
- Push Wheelchair
- Manual Wheelchairs*
- Power wheelchairs
- Power scooters
- Orthopotics – braces like AFO (ankle-foot orthotics)
- Folding chairs
- Folding stools
- Shower chairs/stools
- Bedside commode (also can be used to heighten toilet seat)
*Manual wheelchairs may not be recommended for those who are hypermobile, are prone to joint dislocations, have had shoulder injuries, or show signs of Post Exertion Malaise.
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