What Is Remote Or Virtual Physical Therapy Like And Is It Effective?

by | Mar 29, 2020 | 0 comments

The world is going through a crisis, unlike anything we have ever experienced because of the coronavirus, COVD-19. We have been required to socially distance ourselves from our closest friends, family, and (for most of us) some form of work.

As a non-essential healthcare worker, I have been asked to use my best discretion and decide if it is medically necessary to treat patients in person. I have decided that the bulk of my case load fits that narrative and my patients do not need to be seen in person.

Well, then how do they continue/start treatment? We are fortunate enough to have been using telehealth avenues to treat patients all over the state of Florida and all over the world for years now.

Physical therapy is not about being “treated in-person” it’s about being guided on your rehab journey while your body heals. We as PTs facilitate a rehab experience, we don’t heal people. With that knowledge, we know that we can create the same experience via digital avenues.

What To Expect For Your Virtual/ Remote Physical Therapy

Our virtual or remote evaluations are almost 100% identical to our in-person sessions, with the only difference being we communicate through a screen. We go through a full subjective history of the situation/injury, movement assessment, and pain assessment. You, the patient, are the best analyst of your pain. With a full in-depth evaluation we create a rehab plan, go over exercise selections with equipment/items you have at home and decide if anything needs to be purchased (or sent to you).

Our Follow-Up visits are very similar to our evaluations. We re-evaluate your injury, progression or regression in symptoms. We then build upon our last session to add in exercises, frequency, volume, specifics, load or take away exercises based on your response.

No, we do not meet so I can watch you exercise multiple times a week. We meet once a week or once every other week so we can continue to optimize our time and use our sessions to make progress, not just oversee your exercise. 

But what about ice, heat, STEM, manual therapy, etc? Even during our in-person visits, we do not utilize these passive interventions as a part of our methodology. Your goals are usually consistent with activities and we want to get you active and moving towards those goals. Active problems need active solutions and we utilize active interventions over passive ones for that reason.

This system is not for everyone and if you are not motivated to exercise/rehab on your own then it likely won’t work, and that’s ok. But our goal is to create independence and self-reliance in our patients which is why our telehealth services fit our treatment model very well.

If you have more questions about our remote physical therapy or would like to book an appointment please contact us.


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