by Brian Wolfe, DPT, OCS
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COVID-19 has forced us to utilize our Telehealth system with a lot of our patients. To my pleasant surprise, it has opened my eyes to this new way we can help them. It has made me more creative and caused me to think outside the box from common treatment sessions I have with my patients in the clinic to provide a different experience that adapts to our current situation. Here are my 3 favorite aspects of treating my physical therapy patients via Telehealth.
One-on-one individualized care. The beautiful thing about Telehealth is that we can be focused on one patient without any overlapping. I'm able to talk with my patient face-to-face (virtually) without distraction. I love it! Telehelth allows me to focus the entirety of the session on how my patient is feeling, moving and progressing. I can adjust and advance our treatment plan accordingly and my patient can follow and progress from the comfort and safety of home.
Speed of scheduling. Patients will text me to schedule an evaluation or session and I love how quickly I can accommodate them. My schedule typically includes bouncing between multiple clinics, so time can be limited. Telehealth, however, allows me to schedule immediately, diagnose their alignment and treat them promptly and in turn, decrease their pain quickly. Depending on patient preference, we are still able to include or alternate clinic visits with Telehealth treatment.
Advanced creativity and diagnosis. There's often the notion that Telehealth is not as valuable as in-person treatment. However, just because we are unable to deliver specific types of care, such as manual therapy, we cannot disregard the importance of other types of mobility, exercise progression and care that are completely attainable (and successful) via Telehealth. Focused diagnosis and uninterrupted treatment are essential for proper progression of physical therapy. Common injuries we can effectively treat via Telehealth include achilles tendinitis, low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, patellofemoral pain syndrome, IT band syndrome, cervical radiculopathy, rotator cuff tendinitis, shoulder impingement and many more!
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