Treating Post-Intensive Care Syndrome

If you were required to spend time in a hospital intensive care unit, you may experience issues with your mental health, cognition, or physical abilities. When this occurs, it is known as post-intensive care syndrome (PICS). Your family may experience a similar condition, known as PICS-Family, that can arise from stress, anxiety, or depression that they experience while caring for you. 

Problems with physical abilities can include breathing problems, muscle weakness, walking troubles, and struggle to care for yourself. Mental health problems can include anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Cognitive problems can include trouble concentrating or thinking clearly, difficulty remembering things, and difficulty completing tasks. These problems can last from a few months to years. 

How Can Peak Physical Therapy Help?

If your physical abilities have been affected by PICS, we can help. Your physical therapist may suggest using equipment to help you with daily tasks, such as using a walker or cane to help you walk safely or a reaching tool to help you grab items that are out of your reach. You may also consider raising the height of your chairs or using a raised toilet seat to help you get up easily. Your physical therapy will work with you to help you gain strength, improve your walking, and address any other problems you may be experiencing. You will likely learn stretching exercises to improve your flexibility as well as balance exercises. You may lift weights or pull elastic bands for resistance training. Walking, bicycling, and swimming can help improve endurance.

Things to Remember

PICS recovery is a slow process that may take months or years. It may be helpful to keep a journal to keep record of your feelings and symptoms, as it may help your physical therapist better understand how to treat your condition and help you keep track of your symptoms as they improve. Don’t give up; do the exercises that your physical therapist recommends you to do at home. Your exercise program is designed especially for you to improve your quality of life and help manage your condition. Treatment from your physical therapist will help improve the physical problems related to PICS. 

Peak Physical Therapy

Our South Shore Physical Therapy practice specializes in physical therapy including many specialty programs including return-to-sports, vestibular, pelvic health, post-concussion, aquatics, and more. Locations include Norwell, MA, Scituate, MA, Quincy, MA, Hanover, MA, Pembroke, MA, and Braintree, MA. Our specialized programs combined with state-of-the-art facilities allow us to meet the unique needs of our local patients and achieve the fastest results. If you are unsure whether this type of treatment can help you, we offer a no-obligation FREE injury screening. Click here for more information.


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Norwell, MA
Scituate, MA
Quincy, MA
Hanover, MA
Braintree, MA
Pembroke, MA


Hanover, MA
  • Healthtrax Health Club
  • 20 East St.
  • Hanover, MA 02339
  • Phone/Text: 781-347-4686
Scituate, MA
  • Scituate Health and Racquet Club
  • 1004 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy
  • Scituate, MA 02066
  • Phone/Text: 781-378-2352
Weymouth, MA
  • Weymouth Club
  • 75 Finnell Drive
  • Weymouth, MA 02188
  • Phone/Text: 781-986-0990


Norwell, MA
  • Women's Health
  • 99 Longwater Circle
  • Suite 203
  • Norwell, MA 02061
  • Phone/Text 781-347-4686
Scituate, MA
Quincy, MA
Braintree, MA