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The Rest Of The Telehealth Story

Have you ever thought how could physical therapy be performed virtually? In a pre-covid society, I dare to say little to no virtual PT occurred. When pressed, we get creative as a profession and that's exactly what occurred in 2020. For all of us I am sure!

As a profession we are educators, empathizers, and listeners. Much of an initial evaluation is listening to the patient. Hearing their injury or surgical past, what provokes their symptoms, what makes symptoms improve. My mentor once told me "have three working diagnoses for each patient at the end of your patient history." How do I form that diagnosis? By listening, asking questions with answers that can impact my view of their pathology. And guess what, this is all done without laying hands on patients.

A Telehealth evaluation includes watching patients move through ranges of motion and examination of the area in question. Also easily done virtually. While I can not lay my hands on virtual patients, I can empower them with exercises, movements, stretches and mobilizations that each patient can do in the comfort of their home. Patients don't get the benefit of manual treatment but they also are not reliant on manual treatments. The end result, patient empowerment and reduction of fear avoidance behaviors.

After observing movement I begin treatment. I like to have my own exercise area to display the treatment as well as move with the patient. Patients use zoom as a mirror as well as my example to fine tune activities.

Each patient receives a personalized home exercise program at the end of their program. Providers send links for equipment to be purchased to be when needed.

Treatment frequency varies depending on patient diagnosis and physical therapy goals. So if you or a family member are considering Telehealth for physical therapy, take a look at the wide range of Concierge Orthopedics providers offering virtual services. Now you know......the rest of the story. (A little Paul Harvey anyone?)

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