Telehealth Physical Therapy Services Make it Possible for Patients to Stay on Track – Utilizing Technology to Elevate Physical Therapy and Achieve Optimal Health

Over the past two decades, the team at Competitive Edge Physical Therapy (CEP) has worked to set themselves apart from the typical run-of-the-mill physical therapy practice, focusing on applying specialized techniques and groundbreaking technology to gain industry-leading results with patients. In response to “safer at home” and social distancing guidelines set forth amid the COVID-19 pandemic, CEP is now harnessing technology in another sphere, through virtual “telePT” treatments provided for their patients in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Offering telePT services aligns with CEP’s tech-forward practice model, and allows patients a way to stay connected with their therapist and on track with rehabilitation progress. New patients are also welcome to utilize the virtual evaluation and treatment services, which are needed now more than ever as patients are unable to visit their physician for new onset of pain or dysfunction. 

What is TelePT?

With the CDC guidelines on “social distancing” being enacted, it’s important for people in “at risk” populations to feel safe while they seek treatment for conditions that typically require in person care, like physical therapy. Luckily for these patients, a newer option is emerging as one of the most useful and comprehensive ways to keep appointments from being missed when they are unable to be seen in office: telehealth services, or “telePT”, for virtual physical therapy treatments. TelePT offers patients the ability to schedule and attend a virtual appointment without leaving their homes.

Lack of exercise, a change in overall habits, and decreased compliance with self-care activities during this time of social distancing has a detrimental effect on a physical therapy patient’s recovery. Throughout a physical therapy treatment plan, even missing one or two sessions can have unintended consequences, requiring a longer recovery period. For those with chronic pain, missing sessions can mean the difference between being able to complete daily activities or being incapacitated by pain. Telehealth services for physical therapy provides a great alternative for the “at risk” population that is sheltering at home, as it allows those patients to be able to continue connecting – and working with – their physical therapists while practicing social distancing. With the ability to consult with a therapy professional using telePT services, patients won’t have to miss these important sessions, and therefore will reduce the risk of setbacks due to inactivity.

By scheduling and attending telePT appointments, there’s no need to worry about transportation, about relying on others, or even coming into contact with others that are potentially sick. In addition to this, a telehealth appointment with a physical therapist is a great way for patients to ask questions, particularly about new injuries or progress/setbacks in their recovery.

Unique benefits of TelePT services include:

  • Patients can receive care remotely- saving on travel time to and from the clinic
  • Virtual consultations can be performed when traveling to avoid set-backs
  • Increases access to physical therapy care by providing ease of connection/communication
  • Treatments are designed with home in mind- no special equipment or gym necessary!
  • Insurance providers are extending coverage for telehealth services, which means no increased cost for the patient compared to in-office visits

Virtual vs. In Person Appointments—What to Expect

The quality of care does not decrease simply because an appointment is not “in person”. It may seem strange to think that a physical therapy session can be held as a virtual appointment, but by using a webcam properly, physical therapy professionals are able to evaluate, coach, educate and assess the progress and status of patients. It’s not a hands on experience, but as long as patients approach the sessions as they would a “typical” session, it will remain similar. Emerging research on physical therapy outcomes from telePT appointments indicates the same level of care and goals achieved compared to in office treatments.

The ease of communication also increases with telePT services. By using a virtual appointment method like this, a physical therapist can visualize and make recommendations for patients to improve their home environment and make it safer and more convenient for exercise, include family members in the process (if this is what they want) and view a patient’s progress from a remote location. Aside from COVID-19 pandemic considerations, this has far-reaching capabilities in situations where a patient is traveling and unable to adhere to a consistent “in person” schedule. TelePT makes it much simpler for patients to get in touch with healthcare providers and attend these necessary appointments, keeping up with their progress and optimizing their health.

By combining new technology with the most up-to-date physical therapy practices, CEP is pushing the boundaries of conventional health care to help patients reach their wellness goals. CEP’s mission is to promote optimal health across the lifespan, utilizing proven technology to achieve results. To schedule your first telePT session with a physical therapist, contact CEP at 813-849-0150

Jason

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