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The effect of strengthening and relaxation exercises on musculoskeletal pain, anxiety, and sleep quality in COVID-19 survivors
1Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Department, Institute for Graduate Studies, Haliç University, Istanbul, Türkiye
2Division of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Halic University, Istanbul, Türkiye
Eurasian Journal of Pulmonology 2023; 25(2): 125-132 DOI: 10.14744/ejp.2023.9003
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BACKGROUND AND AIM: Musculoskeletal pain, anxiety, and sleep problems may persist in people after Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to examine the effects of strengthening and relaxation exercises on musculoskeletal pain, anxiety, and sleep quality in COVID-19 survivors.

METHODS: The study was conducted at Gaziosmanpaşa Training and Research Hospital and included outpatients aged between 18 and 65 who were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 3 months. Subjects were randomly assigned to either experimental or control groups. The experimental group participated in a home-based strengthening and relaxation exercises program 3 times a week for 8 weeks, while control group participants did not receive any exercise program. McGill Pain Scale Short Form (SF-MPQ), Short-Form 36 (SF-36), Beck Anxiety Scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were conducted on all patients before and after the study.

RESULTS: A total of 117 COVID-19 survivors were screened for eligibility, and 76 eligible subjects were randomized into groups. Baseline characteristics and assessment results were similar between the groups (p>0.05). After the study, a significant difference was found in the experimental group in terms of all outcome results (p<0.05). In the control group, there was a statistically significant difference in all assessments except McGill-Current score, SF-36-Physical Role Difficulty, SF-36-Social Functioning, and SF-36-Pain sub-dimension scores (p<0.05). The improvement was significantly higher in the experimental group than in the control group except for the SF-36-Emotional Role Difficulty sub-dimension (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, strengthening and relaxation exercises had a significantly positive effect on post-COVID-19 musculoskeletal pain, anxiety, and sleep quality.