Sakra Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences is the first centre in Bangalore to have been running a dedicated Post Covid Rehab Clinic.

In Covid patients, lungs are the main organ damaged very badly. Post Covid, pulmonary complications are the leading cause of morbidity. It has been found that Covid-19 survivors have developed pulmonary fibrosis, restrictive lung abnormalities, associated with impaired exercise tolerance experiencing difficulty in activities such as walking, climbing stairs, bathing, lower body dressing etc., leading to a poor quality of life. It can even lead to mortality due to secondary infections in fibrosed lungs.

Along with the medical management, pulmonary rehabilitation at all stages – in hospital and in the community plays an integral role in the management of patients suffering from Covid-19 as well as those who have recovered from the infection.

What is COVID 19 rehabilitation?

Sakra Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences provides a holistic comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program aimed to help the patients who have recovered from Covid-19 to regain their physical activity levels, reduce dependence on supplemental oxygen, improve quality of life and most importantly cope better with the emotional and psychological impact of the disease.

It could be done as

★ In-patient based comprehensive rehabilitation – for patients with moderate to severe illness with or without tracheostomy along with prolong hospital stay and Oxygen dependency

★ Centre-based outpatient programme – for patients with moderate functional dependency with/ without supplemental Oxygen and reduced stamina

★ Remotely supervised home-based programme (Video consultations) – outstation patients and those who have limited support for travelling

Why do you need rehabilitation post COVID?

Rehabilitation is crucial for people recovering from COVID-19 infection that perhaps resulted in hospitalization or intensive care unit admission.

Depending on the severity of your disease, post COVID recovery you may experience shortness of breath, cough, decreased energy levels & activity tolerance, difficulty performing daily tasks, muscle weakness, reduced balance, difficulty in focusing, difficulty in swallowing etc.

What does it comprise of?

A multidisciplinary team of specialists including Pulmonologists, Rehab physicians 9 physiatrist), Physiotherapists, Yoga therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Nutritionists and Psychologists. The comprehensive program consists of detailed clinical assessments and creating an individualized protocol involving exercises using advanced equipments and patient education sessions providing a holistic approach.

★ Identification of severity in activity limitation and associated comorbidities

★ Meticulous use of assessment tools and interpretation of data

★ Customized, patient centric goals and care plan

★ Close monitoring of physiologic changes to therapy

★ Periodical review of clinical parameters and modification of care plan

Roles of Clinical Specialists


Pulmonologist is responsible for overall medical management and identifies the comorbidities that might necessitate modifications in the patient's individualized program.

Rehab Physician (Physiatrist)

Physiatrist is a physician specialized in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specially trained in rehabilitation of acute and chronic lung conditions. He works with Pulmonologist and other rehabilitation team members to identify specific rehabilitation needs and monitor periodical progress.

Cardiopulmonary physiotherapist

★ Progressively increase exercise tolerance and reduce oxygen dependency

★ Improve blood circulation and Oxygen levels in the body, improve O2- CO2 exchange, improve lung capacity

★ Promotes chest clearance and prevent accumulation of secretions

★ Strengthening respiratory muscles for efficient breathing

★ Dyspnea management to reduce the work of breathing

Yoga therapist

★ Improve posture and flexibility

★ Relaxation techniques to address the distress in pulmonary conditions

★ Correct dysfunctional breathing patterns and improve breath control

★ Improves ability to focus and engage in activities

★ Enhances mind-body integration

Occupational therapist

★ Facilitate independence in returning to activities of daily living

★ Improve the endurance level

★ Reduce fatigue during day to day activities

★ Resume leisure activities and improve satisfaction

Speech and swallowing therapist

★ Facilitate respiratory swallowing coordination

★ Improve voice quality

★ Increase respiratory support for speech

Geriatric physiotherapist

★ Assess and reduce the fall risk and balance issues

★ Evaluate and educate to reduce caregiver burden

★ To increase strength and body conditioning to promote active aging

Clinical Nutritionist

★ Assess for nutritional requirement

★ Maintain optimal nutritional status

★ Provides dietary advice to improve the health condition

Clinical psychologist

★ Support patients adaptation to the respiratory disease

★ Minimize distress associated with long term isolation

★ Training on self-coping strategies for anxiety

Key benefits of Post Covid Rehabilitation

★ Reduced oxygen dependence or breathing without Oxygen support

★ Improved physical activity levels and reduce fatigue

★ Improved muscle strength and flexibility

★ Increase in overall endurance

★ Reduced risk of fall

★ Faster return to normal routine

Our Covid patients have shown significant improvement in functional capacity through increase in 6minute Walk Test distance, reduced shortness of breath and exertion during daily activities. They have regained better breathing control thereby gradually weaning off from supplemental oxygen support. They have successfully returned to work and manages to carry out tasks without any discomfort. Patients reported to have been able to climb stairs, shop and carry bags, resume cooking, drive long distance and play with their grandchildren without any difficulties. They have also overcome depression and now enthusiastically engage with family and society. They feel more confident as they resume activities independently and are no more dependent on family members.