It’s an uncertain time that we live in right now. People are being asked to stay home, businesses are closing, and we have no idea how long it will last. I even stopped physical operations for Limitless Performance Physical Therapy to do my part in flattening the curve. I am practicing social distancing, but I still have a job to do. Injuries don’t just press “pause” while this pandemic is going on. Due to this, I am now offering telehealth services to help people stay healthy, injury free, and maybe even out of the hospitals or ERs that are overwhelmed right now.
So what is telehealth and how does it work?
Telehealth (AKA telemedicine, telerehab, telepractice) in our case is the use of a video calling service to provide our physical therapy services. The most frequent question we get is “if you can’t put your hands on me then how can you help me?”
Well the majority of diagnosis is determined by a thorough history taking process. By asking questions about how and when the injury started, what common activities you participate in, what does or doesn’t relieve the pain, and more, we can see patterns that match certain diagnoses. We can further narrow it down by just observing how you walk and move. There are some tests that can even be self administered with the proper instruction. Hands on testing is a helpful tool, but not necessary to determine what problem someone is dealing with.
When it comes to treatment a lot of therapists practice with a lot of hands on or manual techniques. I definitely use some manual techniques to make some short term changes in range of motion or pain, but I am a big believer in providing self myofascial techniques (like foam rolling) and exercise. Corrective exercises can be done at home in the other 167 hours of the week that I do not see someone and are what will provide lasting changes.
Telehealth has become a powerful tool to help people when there are barriers to accessing services and it can be just as beneficial as in person physical therapy. Click the link below if you would like to take care of your injury, ache, or pain!
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Dr. Brett Dick, PT, DPT