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Midlands physical therapy clinic offers free COVID long-hauler screenings

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LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) – One out of two people who recover from COVID-19 may experience long-term symptoms, according to a new study from the Penn State College of Medicine.

Now, HPRC Physical Therapy with locations in Richland and Lexington counties is offering free screenings for people experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, mobility issues, trouble breathing, as well as others months after they’ve been infected with COVID-19.

“Those types of fatigue and weakness that people are experiencing can lead to anxiety and depression,” Kelly McCook, senior physical therapist at HPRC said. “People feel like they can’t get out of the house because they can barely get out of the shower without feeling extreme exhaustion.”

The screening tests for speed, mobility, oxygen levels, and other forms of movement compared to normal levels for each patient.

If a patient is a good candidate for treatment, physical therapists come up with a personalized treatment plan for the patient to return to normal life.

“We’ll work to create an individualized rehabilitation program involving exercise for resistance training, to improve balance, walking difficulties,” McCook said. “We can help with breathing exercises for shortness of breath, and we can even add in cognitive exercises while we’re doing physical exercises to help improve strength, speed, endurance, and balance.”

Although treatment length may vary from four weeks to more than four months, McCook says she’s noticed promising results already.

“After being bedridden from underlying health issues and COVID-19, this person lost the ability to lift their arm over their head or even chest level,” McCook said. “In a very short time, we were able to see a lot of improvement in her ability to reach forward and reach up and be able to use that arm for functional activities.”

Researchers say physical therapy for COVID long-haulers will be an increasing need in the next decade.

If you think you may be a candidate for a post-COVID screening, visit HPRC’s website (Post-COVID Therapy – Human Performance and Rehabilitation Centers, Inc. (hprc.net)) or call the office at 803-996-4761.

Locations include 4114 Forest Drive in Columbia and 1216 W. Main St. in Lexington.

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