Main physiotherapy treatments and interventions used for the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19: Systematic Review




Physiotherapy; COVID-19; Physiotherapy Techniques; Teaching.


The physical therapy intervention in patients with COVID-19 aims to maintain, restore and balance cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal capacities, among others. However, despite the physical therapist having an arsenal of interventions and techniques that can be used in both rehabilitation and treatment. There is a limited amount of randomized controlled trials (RCs) that seek to identify the main interventions used on patients with COVID-19. Thus, the present study aimed to identify, through a systematic review, the most used physical therapy interventions in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19. The present study was carried out through a systematic review, following the recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Initially, 145 scientific articles were found, however, only 6 ECs met the inclusion criteria. The most used intervention was respiratory physiotherapy, followed by kinesiotherapy and coated training. Most studies have observed positive results on the signs and symptoms of patients with COVID-19 (mild to moderate) after the administration of physical therapy. It is concluded that respiratory physiotherapy, followed by kinesiotherapy and coated training are the most used interventions for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 (mild to moderate symptoms) and for the rehabilitation of sequelae. These interventions presented highly satisfactory results.


Adly, A. S., Adly, M. S., & Adly, A. S. (2021). Telemanagement of Home-Isolated COVID-19 Patients Using Oxygen Therapy With Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation and Physical Therapy Techniques: Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of medical Internet research, 23(4), e23446.

Barker-Davies, R. M., O'Sullivan, O., Senaratne, K., Baker, P., Cranley, M., Dharm-Datta, S., Ellis, H., Goodall, D., Gough, M., Lewis, S., Norman, J., Papadopoulou, T., Roscoe, D., Sherwood, D., Turner, P., Walker, T., Mistlin, A., Phillip, R., Nicol, A. M., Bennett, A. N., … Bahadur, S. (2020). The Stanford Hall consensus statement for post-COVID-19 rehabilitation. British journal of sports medicine, 54(16), 949–959.

Buehler, A. M., Cavalcanti, A. B., Suzumura, R. A., Carballo, M., & Berwanger, M. (2009). Como avaliar criticamente um ensaio clínico de alocação aleatória em terapia intensiva. Revista Brasileira de Terapia Intensiva. 21(2), 219-225.

CecchetI. L., de Lima M. C., & de SouzaI . F. (2021). Fisioterapia Respiratória no Tratamento Hospitalar Da Covid-19: Uma Revisão Integrativa. Revista Artigos. Com, 26, e6242. Recuperado de

Corrêa, A. P., Ribeiro, J. P., Balzan, F. M., Mundstock, L., Ferlin, E. L., & Moraes, R. S. (2011). Inspiratory muscle training in type 2 diabetes with inspiratory muscle weakness. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 43(7), 1135–1141.

Costa, D. R., Pessoa, D. R., Seefeldt, V. B., Costa, D. R., Maia, D., Dos Santos Maciel, T., Mota, B., Delpasso, C. A., Ribeiro, C., & Nicolau, R. A. (2021). Orofacial evaluation of individuals with temporomandibular disorder after LED therapy associated or not of occlusal splint: a randomized double-blind controlled clinical study. Lasers in medical science, 36(8), 1681–1689.

Costa, D. R. ., Delpasso, C. A., Ribeiro, L. A. P. ., Maciel, T. dos S. ., & Costa, D. R. . (2021b). Fotobiomodulação empregada no tratamento e/ou prevenção da fadiga muscular em humanos: Direcionamento para a empregabilidade clínica . Research, Society and Development, 10(4), e24410414126.

Curci, C., Pisano, F., Bonacci, E., Camozzi, D. M., Ceravolo, C., Bergonzi, R., De Franceschi, S., Moro, P., Guarnieri, R., Ferrillo, M., Negrini, F., & de Sire, A. (2020). Early rehabilitation in post-acute COVID-19 patients: data from an Italian COVID-19 Rehabilitation Unit and proposal of a treatment protocol. European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine, 56(5), 633–641.

De Moraes Prianti, B., Novello, G. F., de Souza Moreira Prianti, T., Costa, D. R., Pessoa, D. R., & Nicolau, R. A. (2018). Evaluation of the therapeutic effects of led (λ627 ± 10 nm) on the initial phase of ankle sprain treatment: a randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lasers in medical science, 33(5), 1031–1038.

Gonzalez-Gerez, J. J., Saavedra-Hernandez, M., Anarte-Lazo, E., Bernal-Utrera, C., Perez-Ale, M., & Rodriguez-Blanco, C. (2021). Short-Term Effects of a Respiratory Telerehabilitation Program in Confined COVID-19 Patients in the Acute Phase: A Pilot Study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(14), 7511.

Guimarães, F. (2020). Atuação do fisioterapeuta em unidades de terapia intensiva no contexto da pandemia de COVID-19. Fisioterapia em Movimento. 33 (2), e0033001.

Liu, K., Zhang, W., Yang, Y., Zhang, J., Li, Y., & Chen, Y. (2020). Respiratory rehabilitation in elderly patients with COVID-19: A randomized controlled study. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 39, 101166.

Mohamed, A. A., & Alawna, M. (2021). The effect of aerobic exercise on immune biomarkers and symptoms severity and progression in patients with COVID-19: A randomized control trial. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 28, 425–432.

Nambi, G., Abdelbasset, W. K., Alrawaili, S. M., Elsayed, S. H., Verma, A., Vellaiyan, A., Eid, M. M., Aldhafian, O. R., Nwihadh, N. B., & Saleh, A. K. (2022). Comparative effectiveness study of low versus high-intensity aerobic training with resistance training in community-dwelling older men with post-COVID 19 sarcopenia: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical rehabilitation, 36(1), 59–68.

Pessoa, D. R., Costa, D. R., Prianti, B. M., Costa, D. R., Delpasso, C. A., Arisawa, E., & Nicolau, R. A. (2018). Association of facial massage, dry needling, and laser therapy in Temporomandibular Disorder: case report. CoDAS, 30(6), e20170265.

Rodríguez-Blanco, C., Bernal-Utrera, C., Anarte-Lazo, E., Saavedra-Hernandez, M., De-La-Barrera-Aranda, E., Serrera-Figallo, M. A., Gonzalez-Martin, M., & Gonzalez-Gerez, J. J. (2022). Breathing exercises versus strength exercises through telerehabilitation in coronavirus disease 2019 patients in the acute phase: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical rehabilitation, 36(4), 486–497.

Rossi, V., Santambrogio, M., Del Monaco, C., Retucci, M., Tammaro, S., Ceruti, C., Saderi, L., Aliberti, S., Privitera, E., Grasselli, G., Sotgiu, G., & Blasi, F. (2022). Safety and feasibility of physiotherapy in ICU-admitted severe COVID-19 patients: an observational study. Monaldi archives for chest disease = Archivio Monaldi per le malattie del torace, 10.4081/monaldi.2022.2087. Advance online publication.

Salian, V. S., Wright, J. A., Vedell, P. T., Nair, S., Li, C., Kandimalla, M., Tang, X., Carmona Porquera, E. M., Kalari, K. R., & Kandimalla, K. K. (2021). COVID-19 Transmission, Current Treatment, and Future Therapeutic Strategies. Molecular pharmaceutics, 18(3), 754–771.

Shukla, M., Chauhan, D., & Raj, R. (2020). Breathing exercises and pranayamas to decrease perceived exertion during breath-holding while locked-down due to COVID-19 online randomized study. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 41, 101248.

Silva, C. M. S., Andrade, A. N., Nepomuceno, B., Xavier, D. S., Lima, E., & Gonzales I. (2020). Evidence-based Physiotherapy and Functionality in Adult and Pediatric patients with COVID-19. J Hum Growth Dev. 30(1), 148-155.

Thomas, P., Baldwin, C., Beach, L., Bissett, B., Boden, I., Cruz, S. M., Gosselink, R., Granger, C. L., Hodgson, C., Holland, A. E., Jones, A. Y., Kho, M. E., van der Lee, L., Moses, R., Ntoumenopoulos, G., Parry, S. M., & Patman, S. (2022). Physiotherapy management for COVID-19 in the acute hospital setting and beyond: an update to clinical practice recommendations. Journal of physiotherapy, 68(1), 8–25.

Vendrusculo, F. M., & Donadio, M. V. F. (2015). Efeitos do treinamento muscular inspiratório em pacientes com fibrose cística. ASSOBRAFIR Ciência. 6(2), 33-41.

Yesudhas, D., Srivastava, A., & Gromiha, M. M. (2021). COVID-19 outbreak: history, mechanism, transmission, structural studies and therapeutics. Infection, 49(2), 199–213.

Zha, L., Xu, X., Wang, D., Qiao, G., Zhuang, W., & Huang, S. (2020). Modified rehabilitation exercises for mild cases of COVID-19. Annals of palliative medicine, 9(5), 3100–3106.



How to Cite

AMORIM, O. M. da S. .; PACHECO, I. T. S. L. .; ALVES, W. dos S. . Main physiotherapy treatments and interventions used for the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19: Systematic Review. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 6, p. e52011629514, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i6.29514. Disponível em: Acesso em: 28 may. 2022.



Health Sciences