Lambeck (2022) IATF Post Covid statement 2022

Aquatic Therapy in Post-COVID Rehabilitation: Enhancing Recovery

Understanding Post-COVID Challenges

This is about the use of Aquatic Therapy in Post-COVID Rehabilitation. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a global medical and scientific response to mitigate its impacts and understand its multifaceted consequences​​. The International Aquatic Therapy Faculty (IATF) recognizes the potential role of aquatic therapy in supporting patients with post-COVID symptoms, which can be severe and disabling, affecting various body systems and functions​​.

Symptom Management and Rehabilitation

Post-COVID symptoms, often fluctuating and impacting daily life, include fatigue, chest tightness, shortness of breath, headache, and cognitive dysfunction​​. While minor symptoms are managed symptomatically, the etiology behind more serious symptoms like pulmonary embolism or cerebrovascular accidents must be addressed with standard treatments​​.

Aquatic Therapy: A Potential Approach

The complexity of post-COVID syndrome, with its varied pathophysiological mechanisms, calls for a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation​​. Aquatic therapy, leveraging the physical and fluid mechanical properties of water, might offer significant benefits in rehabilitation programs​​. It can be especially useful for individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a condition sharing similarities with post-COVID symptoms​​.

Addressing Respiratory and Muscular Challenges

Aquatic therapy might be a suitable alternative for respiratory rehabilitation, providing a supportive, low-impact environment for exercise without compromising oxygen saturation​​. For muscular symptoms, water immersion can ease pain and stiffness, offering a conducive setting for graded exercise​​.

Cognitive Support and Monitoring

“Cognitive dysfunction” or “brain fog” is another post-COVID symptom that can benefit from aquatic therapy, as immersion in water may enhance cognitive performance and cortical activation​​. Monitoring of vital signs before, during, and after therapy sessions is crucial for adjusting treatment programs safely​​.

Personalized Care and Patient-Centered Approach

In post-COVID care, especially for patients with comorbidities like diabetes or cardiovascular disorders, a patient-centered approach is essential. This approach involves personalized treatment plans and patient education for active participation in decision-making​​.

Indications and Precautions for Aquatic Therapy

While aquatic therapy can aid recovery in post-COVID patients, it’s important to navigate therapy choices carefully, considering individual preferences and situations where aquatic therapy can be most beneficial​​. Precautionary measures are essential, and therapy may be deferred in specific clinical situations, such as severe tachycardia or infections​​.


The pathophysiology of post-COVID remains unclear, necessitating ongoing research to understand the long-term effects of treatments. Current recommendations are based on existing data and may evolve with future findings​​.

Keyphrase: Aquatic Therapy in Post-COVID Rehabilitation

Keywords: COVID-19, aquatic therapy, rehabilitation, post-COVID syndrome, respiratory rehabilitation, muscular symptoms, cognitive dysfunction, patient-centered care, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, exercise.

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