This research paper provides recommendations, based on a reflective analysis, concerning the prescription of safe, effective, and appropriate fascia-focused physical activity, and manual therapy interventions, for patients recovering from COVID-19. In particular this review and emerging recommendations are specific to those who are failing to achieve a full recovery and thus experiencing Long-COVID symptoms leading to a possible National health crisis. The progression of the airborne RNA virus, identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) or COVID-19, is ongoing, and the numbers of Long-COVID suffers are increasing. It is now almost two years since the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the spread of this airborne virus had reached pandemic proportions. It is hoped this research paper will provide important information concerning the longer-term effects of COVID-19 and its numerous variants Alpha, Delta, Delta plus (K417N spike protein mutation), Lambda and others. Appropriate guidelines for safe physical activity and touch therapies for hospitalised and non-hospitalised long-COVID patients will be provided. There is emerging detail concerning long-term, post-viral effects showing them to be similarly reflective of other common syndrome sequelae such as Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Myofascial Trigger Points, and Chronic fatigue. This information is proving to be useful in offering much-needed recommendations for the safe prescription of physical activities and manual therapy in supporting patient’s return to pain-free movement and improved quality of life. While high-quality research is lacking on this topic, according to reliable scientific sources, long-COVID syndrome, or Long-COVID, is an emerging and growing problem worldwide. Several reports confirm that a significant number of people are failing to achieve full recovery following infection. Available research figures show patients who did not require hospitalization when having COVID-19 and who had no underlying medical condition including children, healthy fit individuals, particularly women, and ‘under 40’ pre-menopausal women are particularly vulnerable to Long-COVID. This reflective analysis provides recommendations concerning informed, appropriate fascia-focused therapeutic physical activity and touch-therapy therapeutic interventions for qualified therapists working with hospitalised or non-hospitalised Long-COVID patients. Based on current data, it seems prudent to consider SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 as a long-term illness. Post-Covid patients require professionally trained personal to provide the necessary clinical support and valuable functional life change advice. Following medical approval, if required, qualified therapist should carry out a complete battery of tests to rule out other underlying causes before providing any therapeutic interventions.

John Sharkey – MSc

John Sharkey is an international educator, author and authority in the areas of clinical anatomy, exercise science, human movement and the manual treatment of chronic pain. He is a graduate of the University of Dundee, University of Liverpool and University of Chester. He completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies in the areas of exercise physiology, clinical anatomy and holds a post-graduate certificate in education. He is currently a senior lecturer within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences, University of Chester/NTC, Dublin and is the programme leader of the Biotensegrity focused Thiel soft fix cadaver dissection courses department of anatomy and human identification, Dundee University, Scotland.

John has been delivering human anatomy dissection courses for many years teaching the geometry of anatomy and movement from the unique Biotensegrity-Anatomy for the 21st Century perspective. His presentations are respectful, dynamic, entertaining, educational and insightful.

John promotes his model of “Biotensegrity-anatomy for the 21st century” integrating the pioneering work of his mentor Dr. Stephen Levin MD. John has been teaching European Neuromuscular Therapy using living anatomy and specialising in chronic pain conditions. He is recognised as one of the worlds leading authorities on fascia and Biotensegrity. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (JBMT), International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine and other professional journals.

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