Omicron is a variant of global concern as it has high transmissibility, though the variant causes less damage to the lungs and less severe disease when compared to other variants. In most cases, it causes severe myalgia, body pain, and lethargy, even after recovery. This is because people exercise less and become more sedentary during the pandemic, which worsens the condition. Therefore to prevent this weakness, exercising should be continued. Your physiotherapist will recommend some kind of exercises or activities that can prevent the after-effects of omicron. In this blog, we have discussed how you can manage omicron while staying at your home.
What causes this Post-recovery pain?
As data on Omicron is limited and gene sequencing is costly. The reason for pain might be due to inflammatory mediators that this variant is causing after recovery. And the other reason may be that this variant is affecting the musculoskeletal system more than any other variant.
What's the Course of Treatment?
Once recovered from the virus, the patient should take all the precautionary measures, like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. After recovery, your physiotherapist will recommend you to take complete rest and not to exert yourself too much in daily activities, pay heed to the recovery process, not to start with heavy workouts, take one step at a time and also increase the intake of water as the body needs a lot of water during the recovery phase. If myalgia and back pain is severe in the post-recovery period, then regular stretching exercises at home can be done.
The virus affects the brain function and mind, so the best way to relax is by taking good sleep and doing breathing exercises.
Correct sleeping posture:
Long periods spent on the couch or in bed can exacerbate the pain, making it worse while dealing with lower back pain associated with the Omicron variant. While sleeping and taking rest maintains the spine's natural alignment. The spine has several curves that need to be supported. Use a suitable mattress to support these curves, avoid any mattress that adds extra pressure during sleep. Place the pillow under the knees to remove tension from your back and allow for more natural alignment during sleep.
Your physiotherapist will also recommend heat and ice therapy. The patient can try both and use whichever makes him/her feel better. Sometimes heat therapy can have a soothing effect on sore muscles. It should be used for 20 minutes at a time. Whereas ice therapy can be used for lower back pain as it provides great relief.
Simple range of motion exercises and stretching exercises:
Rest is essential when you don't feel well. But staying in the same position can cause tightness of the body. To prevent tightness, while taking rest take breaks, get up and move whenever possible during the day. While in isolation or quarantine, start doing simple exercises for 10-minutes like bending and straightening the leg, bending and straightening the elbow, or doing ankle-toe movements. As the individual is sedentary during the recovery period or isolation or work from home, muscle tightness can develop like tight hamstrings, tight back muscles, tight neck muscles, even tightness may develop in arms and legs. Stretching the foot helps relieve pain in calves while alleviating lower back pain.
Stretching exercises to prevent tightness like raising the arms into the air, slowly twisting the back. Stretching the back bringing it backward, arching the back, bending forward, touching the toes, slowly twisting the back, etc.
Tools to support back health:
Your physiotherapist recommends a few tools to support your back health while dealing with back pain. The foam roller is a good example. They come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, and are easy to use and adapt to wherever you have sore muscles. The person can lean on it, lie on it, or can be used by someone to roll it over the sore muscles or knots. These foam rollers increase blood flow and reduce pain and soreness by penetrating the soft tissue. These rollers can be used in the back, legs, arms, and feet, to provide relief to strained muscles.
Back massager: Back massager can be used for dealing with sore muscles, these devices loosen the muscles and can be used in multiple directions to relieve pain.
Omicron can be deadly, therefore prevention is essential to keep yourself healthy. Avoid becoming infected with omicron by taking the right precautions.