Virtual PT Services
Tens of thousands of people in the U.S. have caught the coronavirus. Millions more are being asked to practice social distancing and voluntary isolation. In the midst of this, however, many people still need physical therapy.
At Continuum Wellness, our team is committed to balancing the need for patient and staff safety with our patients’ therapy needs. This is why we are offering virtual care services in addition to in-clinic visits so our team can continue to treat your aches and pains if you need to remain in your home.
How does virtual physical therapy work?
Virtual physical therapy is an offshoot of telemedicine, and it involves physical therapists using electronic communications to work with patients. Typically, the communications link of choice is an online platform. Such platforms allow clinicians to connect with patients over a real-time video link. The session will also typically include live audio, so you and your physical therapist can speak to each other directly.
Some components that can be a part of your virtual physical therapy session are:
- Questions about your symptoms
- Educational information about your injury or condition
- Tips for performing normal daily tasks
- Training on the use of assistance devices like walkers and crutches
- Providing a program of at-home therapeutic exercises and stretches
- Demonstrating movements in your at-home program
What can virtual physical therapy be used to treat?
Virtual physical therapy can be useful for our current patients as well as new patients. It can allow our therapists to evaluate and treat new patients as well. Additionally, virtual physical therapy can be used to treat a wide range of injuries and medical issues. Some of the issues that virtual physical therapy can help treat include:
- Post-surgical rehab — Stopping your post-surgical rehab can be very detrimental. Much of the research done on virtual physical therapy has focused on rehab for people who are recovering from joint replacement surgeries; it’s estimated that in excess of 600,000 total knee replacements (TKRs) occur in the U.S. annually. One study reports that virtual physical therapy is as safe and effective for TKR patients as in-person therapy. The same study also reveals that virtual physical therapy reduced the risk of hospital readmission by 60%.
- Chronic pain — Researchers estimate that about 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. This is defined as pain that lasts at least three months. In many cases, it also affects patients on the majority of days in a month. Many chronic pain patients have a long-term therapy program. virtual physical therapy allows these patients to continue getting the care they require.
- Musculoskeletal injuries —These injuries affect bones, joints, muscles and other soft tissue. Osteoarthritis is the most common musculoskeletal injury; this issue affects more than 54 million U.S. adults. One study on virtual physical therapy reports that it leads to function and pain improvements that are similar to traditional therapy.
How should I prepare for a virtual physical therapy session?
It’s important to maximize your time interacting with your therapist during a virtual physical therapy session. To do so, there are some steps you’ll need to take before your appointment.
One of the most important steps to take is ensure that you have the equipment required. Patients can use a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer for virtual physical therapy. However, you will need to ensure that the device you choose has several features: It will need a microphone and speakers for the live audio link. The device will also need a functioning camera to relay your end of the video feed. Additionally, you should check that your web browser is up to date.
Other pre-session steps you should take include:
- Checking your email for information about your session
- Making sure you have an open, well-lit space in your home for the session
- Ensuring the device you’re using can operate hands-free if you have to do therapeutic exercises
- Asking a friend or relative to be nearby if you might need help troubleshooting technical issues
What will virtual physical therapy cost me?
Virtual physical therapy care is covered by most major insurances in the same way as an in-person visit. Our team also accepts credit and debit as well as Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) payments for Medicare, Medicaid and self-pay patients.
Continuum Wellness offers virtual physical therapy
Are you ready to try virtual physical therapy? Our team at Continuum Wellness is ready and willing to help you. Contact our team for more information about virtual physical therapy today or to schedule an initial appointment.