New rehab program aimed at COVID recovery


RAPID CITY, S.D. — Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 sometimes experience long-lasting effects that are much harder to recover from. Post-COVID syndrome is being used by doctors to describe the lingering effects from a COVID-19 infection, which can last anywhere from weeks to months after the initial infection. Sundog Rehabilitation in Rapid City and Custer is bringing a new rehabilitation program to the region to help COVID patients return to their normal life.

At Mayo Clinic the CARP treatment was developed and is used in the COVID-19 Activity Rehabilitation Program. “This is an individualized slow paced treatment program,” says Becky Baird, Physical Therapist and Westside Clinic Manager at Sundog Rehab. “We are just trying to get people back to their normal function, whether that’s returning to work or playing with their kids.

Leader of the Mayo Clinic program Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn says that most patients in their study are returning to their normal activities within six to 12 weeks. The success of the program lies in how it is customized to each patient to address their specific needs.

The recovery program at Sundog Rehabilitation begins with a comprehensive evaluation. A patient’s heart rate, oxygen level and blood pressure will be recorded before moving on to a few tests that determine a patient’s baseline strength, balance, and endurance.

Throughout a patient’s recovery at Sundog Rehabilitation a therapist trained in Mayo Clinic’s program will closely monitor a patient as they regain their strength without the risk of fatiguing themselves too much. The fatigue of post COVID syndrome can be extremely debilitating if pushed too far, with some patients needing to nap for hours after formerly simple tasks like doing laundry or walking around the block.

“On their own patients are more likely to think to themselves ‘no pain no gain’ and push through exercise on their own,” Baird says. “Since they are not being monitored, they end up bouncing back into severe fatigue much easier than they would expect.”

Pennington County alone has seen over 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with over 750 needing hospitalization. If you are recovering from COVID-19 and are trying to get back to your normal activities, you can call Sundog Rehabilitation at 605-787-2719 or visit them online at

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Categories: Coronavirus