COVID-19 and Dizziness
117+ million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Symptom onset, intensity, and recovery can vary greatly. Some people are lucky enough to have mild symptoms and recover completely. Others are not as lucky and continue to suffer from residual symptoms, specifically neurologic symptoms like dizziness and headache.
From the article Neurological manifestations of COVID-19 and other coronaviruses: A systematic review (Correia AO). Seven studies were included in the systematic review. Details were provided on symptom variation, virus testing methodology, timing of onset of symptoms, geographic location, and effect on patient function. Trends of neurologic symptoms were specifically tracked. Directly from the article: "Coronaviruses have important neurotropic potential and they cause neurological alterations that range from mild to severe. The main neurological manifestations found were headache, dizziness and altered consciousness."
Physical therapists (PTs) have an important role in treating people suffering from residual neurologic symptoms related to COVID-19. All PTs have extensive training in progressive strength and balance programing to address safety concerns in the home and community. PTs specializing in vestibular and neurologic conditions are ideal providers to address headache and dizziness. Trained Vestibular PTs have extensive experience in developing programs to promote adaptation and habituation to encourage neuroplasticity (brain healing) to reduce symptoms and improve function.
If you are experiencing residual neurologic symptoms, specifically dizziness, headache, feeling off-balance or falling, consult with a physical therapist!