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Article: Muscle wasting and weakness

Why do you get muscle wasting? In the early stages of your illness, you may have been unconscious, and needed help from a breathing machine (or ventilator) for your breathing. During this time, you will have been unable to use the muscles in your arms and legs, and to move your joints yourself. We know from research (where pictures have been taken of the patients' muscles) that these muscles reduce in size, or waste, when they are not being used. This can happen quite...

External Video: Pacing for Breathlessness

This short clip will explain how a technique known as "pacing" may help feelings of breathlessness. You might also find the booklets on bodily positions to help breathlessness, breathing control and how to conserve your energy helpful in dealing with breathlessness.

External Video: Pacing for Fatigue

This short clip will explain how the technique of pacing may be used to manage any fatigue that you may be experiencing.

External Video: Pacing for Pain

This short clip will explain how pacing your activities may help to manage any pain that you are experiencing.

Document: Pacing information booklet

This booklet about pacing has been written for people with ME or chronic fatigue. However the fatigue that you may be experiencing associated with being in Intensive Care can be managed with pacing in the same way. The booklet contains a wealth of information about the concept of pacing that you can apply to your 'post intensive care fatigue'. 

Web Link: Patient experiences of Physiotherapy on the wards

It's very common to have a degree of muscle wasting and general weakness after spending time in Intensive Care, sometimes resulting in por mobility. This is often more of an issue for people who were perhaps a little frail before ending up in Intensive Care, or those who spend longer in Intensive Care. Physiotherapy is a hugely important part of the recovery process.This link will take you to the Healthtalkonline website, and their page on other people's experiences of...

Document: Physiotherapy and recovery from Intensive Care.pdf

This booket provides information about physiotherapy and exercise during and after a stay in Intensive Care.

Article: Physiotherapy in Intensive Care

What do physiotherapists do in Intensive Care? Physiotherapy has a very important role in the care and treatment of patients in Intensive Care. There are two main things that the physiotherapist can help with; breathing and exercises. Help with breathing Many patients in Intensive Care need help with their breathing, even if they're not connected to a ventilator or breathing machine. Patients who are not connected to a ventilator or breathing machine may struggle to...

Article: Physiotherapy on the ward

What does a physiotherapist do on the ward? Physiotherapy has a very important role in recovery and rehabilitation after Intensive Care. The physiotherapist works very closely with all the other members of the ward staff to make sure that you are recovered enough to cope at home. The two main things that the physiotherapist can help with are breathing exercises and mobility (eg walking). Why might I need to see a physiotherapist after Intensive Care? Some patients still...

Article: Physiotherapy: what can family do to help on the ward?

Common problems after Intensive Care Patients are often immobile (lying still) for much of their time in Intensive Care, sometimes resulting in general stiffness or painful joints, especially in the knees and shoulders. They can also lose muscle as a result of being so ill, especially in the legs, which often results in general weakness and problems with mobility. This can mean that patients may become tired or short of breath when beginning to mobilise on the general ward. Not...