Austin, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/04/2020 --In 2010, the NIH contracted a chronic pain study which found that up to 40% of the U.S. population is experiencing some level of chronic pain. This number doesn't even include those who have experienced acute injuries or pain in the last few weeks as social distancing has become so important. So, as the majority of the population is staying home and doing their best to avoid non-essential outings, millions are dealing with pain while unaware that there is a conservative treatment solution they can receive while practicing social distancing … and it has nothing to do with pain medications.
Online physical therapy via secure telehealth platforms has exploded in popularity in recent weeks. Given the current need to limit/stop non-essential face-to-face interactions, hundreds, if not thousands, of physical therapy practices are now offering these online treatment sessions.
2 weeks ago, Carter Physiotherapy in Austin, Texas preemptively closed their doors to in-clinic treatment and converted completely to online telehealth physical therapy services. The city of Austin is still not at a point that it has asked physical therapy clinics to stop in-clinic appointments, but Jarod Carter PT, DPT, MTC and his staff want to do their part to promote social distancing and flattening the curve of this terrible epidemic, while still serving their customers and helping the community live an active lifestyle.
Those who have had physical therapy in a clinic may wonder how online physical therapy can actually work. Isn't physical therapy supposed to be performed "on" someone in-person?
Recently interviewed and featured on KXAN news (a Nextstar Media Group station), Dr Carter echoed these doubts himself: "We're a very hands-on practice, and so I and my patients had our doubts; but now that we've done a handful of them since closing our clinic doors last week, we've all been really pleasantly surprised."
Via secure video conferencing technology, a physical therapist can still perform thorough evaluations, and teach patients customized programs of exercises and self-treatment techniques using inexpensive, readily available treatment tools. Often, the most important part of reducing a patient's pain and limitations involves education on proper movement, desk ergonomics, lifestyle habits, and other factors that can be performed online just as easily as in a clinic.
Carter mentioned that his staff is seeing a lot of patients who began experiencing back or neck pain due to working at home where they don't have the correct ergonomic set up that they have in their workplace. He has even had telehealth sessions with a patient who states "I'm doing my part to save the world by binging Netflix from my couch." Carter added that, "it's a very old, non-supportive couch that isn't doing his chronic back issues any favors."
Therapists and patients around the nation are finding that online physical therapy can be effective in treating the vast majority of issues that are normally treated in a PT clinic. There are certainly still instances when in-person treatment is a must, but overall there are not many cases that can't be significantly improved with this relatively novel, and increasingly important treatment option for those staying home during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information on how online physical therapy works and if it can help you, you can visit: https://carterpt.com/telehealth-physical-therapy-online/