Long Covid and The Perrin Technique™

May 3, 2022

Infection with Covid-19 can leave sufferers dealing with fatigue, muscle and joint pain, brain fog, depression and sleep problems for weeks or even months. Presently, our understanding of post-Covid-19 syndrome, or ‘Long Covid’, is in its early stages. But there are significant similarities to other post-viral syndromes. Here, we look at why some people have long-term symptoms. Plus, we share some exciting new research about how the Perrin Technique can help.

How prevalent is Long Covid?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Long Covid as being:

“usually three months from the onset of Covid-19 with symptoms that last for at least two months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.”

WHO, October 2021

The Office for National Statistics1 estimates that between 3% and 12% of people who catch Covid will still have symptoms 12 weeks later. The figures in January 2022 showed that just over 1 in 50 people in the UK were affected.

More than 40% of these Long Covid sufferers were experiencing symptoms more than a year after their initial infection. 63% state that symptoms reduce their ability to carry out daily activities.

These figures highlight a growing trend in cases, and the impact of new variants has not yet been assessed.

What does Long Covid do to the body?

Research into Long Covid is still underway, but there are significant similarities to other post-viral syndromes, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or ‘Myalgic Encephalomyelitis’, otherwise known as CFS/ME). There is a lot of overlap in the way these conditions present, suggesting a common pattern of development.

Research2 has been carried out into patients who experienced a CFS/ME-like illness following infection with another coronavirus. This virus is responsible for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The research indicates a disturbance of the lymphatic drainage around the brain and spinal cord. A build-up of inflammatory toxins inhibits proper drainage. This in turn disturbs the normal function of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), responsible for a wide range of bodily functions, from temperature regulation to cardiovascular function.

As a result, this disturbance leaves people dealing with a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fever
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Stomach pain, nausea, diarrhoea, loss of appetite
  • Memory and concentration difficulties (‘brain fog’)
  • Headache
  • Pins and needles or numbness
  • Delirium (in older people)
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Sore throat, loss of taste or smell
  • Earache or tinnitus

If disturbed lymphatic drainage is indeed the common cause of these post-viral syndromes, then the best way to ease these symptoms is to deal with that cause. That’s where the Perrin Technique comes in.

What is the Perrin Technique?

Developed by a neuroscientist and osteopath, the Perrin Technique is a specialised osteopathic treatment system. Post-viral syndromes such as CFS/ME can leave tell-tale signs in the body, and osteopaths trained in the Perrin Technique can use these to diagnose the condition3. Treatment then focuses on improving the lymphatic pathways, allowing the re-establishment of free drainage around the central nervous system. As the body clears toxins, normal activity of the SNS returns, allowing the body’s systems to return to healthy function.

The Perrin Technique is gentle, incorporating special massage methods, spinal mobilisation and cranial techniques.

If I think I have Long Covid, what can I do?

If you have symptoms four weeks after your initial infection, current medical advice is to speak to your GP, who will assess you. They may then refer you for rehabilitative support, depending on your symptoms and how they affect you.

However, the Perrin Technique is a promising new alternative. It was developed to diagnose and treat CFS/ME, and the similarities between the two conditions mean it’s a viable treatment for Long Covid too.

Initial research4 supports the use of the Perrin Technique in the treatment of Long Covid, improving fatigue, cognition, emotional and physical symptoms. Most recently, an exciting new study5 demonstrated a 50% improvement in symptom severity following a course of treatment.

At Good Health Centre, we have osteopaths trained in the Perrin Technique. If you’d like to know more about Long Covid treatment in Leeds, we’re happy to talk to you about what we can offer. If you’d like assessment and treatment, book an appointment with our osteopaths. Or if you’d like treatment from our Perrin Technique licensed osteopath, Ami Sevi, please call reception on 0113 2371173.

Research Links:

  1. ONS Updated estimates of the prevalence of post-acute symptoms among people with coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK: 26 April 2020 to 1 August 2021
  2. Moldofsky H., Patcai J. Chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, depression and disordered sleep in chronic post-SARS syndrome; a case-controlled study. BMC Neurol. 2011;11:1–7.
  3. Hives L., Bradley A., Richards J. Can physical assessment techniques aid diagnosis in people with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis? A diagnostic accuracy study. BMJ Open. 2017;7
  4. Perrin, R., Riste, L., Hann, M., Walther, A., Mukherjee, A., & Heald, A. (2020). Into the looking glass: Post-viral syndrome post COVID-19. Medical hypotheses144, 110055. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2020.110055
  5. H Heald, A., Perrin, R., Walther, A., Stedman, M., Hann, M., Mukherjee, A., & Riste, L. (2022). Reducing fatigue-related symptoms in Long COVID-19: a preliminary report of a lymphatic drainage intervention. Cardiovascular endocrinology & metabolism, 11(2), e0261. https://doi.org/10.1097/XCE.0000000000000261


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