It takes time to recover and get into good physical and mental shape following an illness. For this reason it is important to commence mobilization and physical activity as soon as the patient’s condition allows for this
Respiratory muscles are trained by means of changes to the ventilator settings. If you have the energy to breathe unassisted the ventilator will be switched off for short periods. The length of time will be increased when you have the energy to breathe unassisted for longer periods. Daily respiratory physiotherapy using various aids forms part of the exercise.
The muscles are trained by passive movements, which are initially carried out by the staff. Your joints can easily become stiff, and it normally feels good to move one’s body. As you get stronger you will be able to perform active movements with support, and finally you will be able to perform the movements by yourself.
The staff carry out regular changes of position and turns until you are able to do so independently. Sitting up in bed or in a chair and walking with a walker are other ways to get started. Physical recuperation takes a long time and requires exercise and realistic goals. It may be helpful to establish both long-term and short-term realistic goals during your stay in ICU. A physiotherapist will help you regain your physical abilities and tailor exercise regimes on the basis of your particular circumstances.