December 14, 2021

Generalized Weakness and Deconditioning, We're the Experts


Hayley Gee

Read Time

5 min

Were you in the hospital for an extended period of time? Was a ventilator used to help you breathe? Do you still feel weak or have difficulty completing tasks throughout the day compared to before your hospital stay?

After an intense hospital stay, there can be lingering effects that can last for weeks, months and even years after leaving the hospital, especially if a ventilator was used to help a patient breathe. One syndrome that can develop is called Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS). This can affect one’s physical, cognitive and psychiatric aspects of life, and can lead to ICU acquired weakness. ICU acquired weakness can lead to increased risk of falls even after being discharged for one year.2

ICU acquired weakness Occurs in: 1

33% of patients on ventilators

50% of patients admitted with severe infection

50% of patients who stay in ICU >1week

It has also been found that performing daily activities or returning to work is very challenging for patients after being discharged, with some not returning to work at all. Others may return to work but have to reduce their hours or completely change their occupation all together to be less physically demanding.

Here are Imagine Physical Therapy, our therapists are trained with the best tools to examine you and determine what interventions will help you become stronger and able to perform daily tasks.3 A therapist will examine many items on your first visit including your strength, balance, and endurance. They will learn about what tasks and daily activities you have difficulty with and what activities you want to return to. After this, they will tailor an exercise program that fits your needs. We have a motto to get you “better faster, better longer” and we will do our best to do just that! 2021. Physical Therapist Management of Patients With or Recovering From COVID-19. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 9 December 2021].

Smith, J., Lee, A., Zeleznik, H., Coffey Scott, J., Fatima, A., Needham, D. and Ohtake, P., 2020. Home and Community-Based Physical Therapist Management of Adults With Post–Intensive Care Syndrome. Physical Therapy, 100(7), pp.1062-1073.

Major, M., Kwakman, R., Kho, M., Connolly, B., McWilliams, D., Denehy, L., Hanekom, S., Patman, S., Gosselink, R., Jones, C., Nollet, F., Needham, D., Engelbert, R. and van der Schaaf, M., 2016. Surviving critical illness: what is next? An expert consensus statement on physical rehabilitation after hospital discharge. Critical Care, 20(1).