With all the changes happening in the world today – virtual doctors appointments, Zoom happy hour with friends, video calls for board meetings, etc. – we’re seemingly bombarded with a sensory overload. Technology has somehow taken the place of more traditional modes of communication during the COVID-19 era, and this can be frustrating, taxing, and downright confusing at times. There is a silver lining though: it doesn’t have to be so exasperating, after all. In fact, along will all these changes, the new technological influx in our daily lives may really be an advantage, if not actually on par with the non-technical equivalents. A good example of this is telehealth appointments with your physical therapist. You thought I was going to say Starbucks online delivery, right? That too, of course, but telehealth appointments with your physical therapist open a whole new world of possibilities! Keep reading to find out more.
Alright, some of you may be wondering what in the world telehealth is. It’s fairly simple, actually: your physical therapy session is conducted via an online platform such as Zoom or Doxy, whereby your physical therapist can still work with you, talk to you about your problem, and give you invaluable advice and tools over video. Not so bad, huh?
That may be so, but we do understand that it’s instinctive to be weary of telehealth – we’ve grown up thinking if it’s that easy, it’s just too good to be true, right? Well, no. Physical therapy lends itself well to being conducted via the internet, as the advice, treatments, and tools being shared with you still ring true: they’re still tailored to your specific problem. Think of telehealth physical therapy as a perfect accompaniment to your existing in-person physical therapy sessions. Why? Take a look:
1. All questions are equal.
Whether in-person or via a video chat, any questions you ask your physical therapist will get answered in the same professional, clear way in either case. So, getting the invaluable answers and knowledge from a telehealth physical therapy session is not a problem: you get the same quality despite the difference in delivery.
2. Follow up questions? No problem.
Asking follow up questions during a telehealth physical therapy session is easy, convenient, and to the point. Any follow up questions you’ve had since your initial in-person session can get answered from the comfort of your own home, and your physical therapist can give you key tools and tips related to them. In fact, telehealth offers a distinct advantage in this case, as you can feel entirely comfortable and forthcoming from within in your own space.
3. No equipment? No problem.
A lot of the equipment used by your physical therapist can be replaced by items you may have at home – this means that a telehealth session doesn’t automatically rule out the exercises you may have done in the clinic. Telehealth therefore offers you the same results as an in-person visit.
4. Safe and Secure
Far from being public, a telehealth session between you and your therapist will always remain private. Just as it may be conducted in the clinic, so too will the telehealth call be conducted. There is no need to worry about undisclosed information or sensitive worries being aired to the public – all issues remain between you and your physical therapist.
5. Exercise and Treatment
Because it is conducted via video, telehealth is actually an invaluable tool when it comes to advising, walking through, teaching, and correcting exercises and self-treatment techniques. Just as your physical therapist would help you in the clinic, so too can he/she notice your mistakes and alter your posture via video chat. This is actually incredibly beneficial, as you’ll feel more comfortable in your own space and will make progress towards a pain-free life quickly.
6. Asking the right questions.
During a physical therapy session there is oftentimes a dialogue between the physical therapist and patient, as the right questions get teased out. What do I mean by ‘the right’ questions? Well, in order to do a detailed examination so that the root cause of the problem can be found, the right questions need to be asked. Happily, this process can just as easily be done successfully via video as in person, thereby making telehealth a viable option.
7. Flexibility is Key
The greatness of telehealth lies not only in its effectiveness, but also in its flexibility. All too often, critical appointments at the clinic are missed due to unforeseen circumstances such as traffic, flat tires, or unavoidable social meetings. In addition, some people aren’t physically able to get to the clinic and have to make alternative arrangements to get treated. In response, a telehealth physical therapy session allows you to work on your health from the comfort of your own home, in your own time, and at your own pace, thereby ensuring that you’re far less likely to miss any of your critical sessions. You get the same level of care… just at home.
8. A Work in Progress
Physical therapy telehealth sessions are constantly trying to be more creative in their approach, thereby ensuring that your session is dynamic, inclusive, and always aware of how you feel. The goal is for you to get the most out of your session, and just because it is online does not mean you cannot achieve the goals you’re after.
So, you see, physical therapy and telehealth are a match made in heaven. If you’re interested in exploring options, booking a telehealth physical therapy session, or just keen to know more about what it might entail, why not contact one of our friendly, professional physical therapists, right now? We’re excited to chat to you and to see you via video: there is a whole new world out there and we’re ready to explore it with you!
"We help active adults and athletes get back to doing the activities they love, without relying on painkillers or injections."
Shaheen Siddiqui, PT
Specialist Physical Therapist