Nowadays, meetings between colleagues and friends are often held in a virtual environment. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic almost everyone has experience with communication platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook Messenger or Microsoft Teams. However, the concept of a distanced meeting is also applicable to physical therapy. As difficult and ineffective as the idea of online therapy may seem at first, the opposite is true. The demand for high-quality physiotherapy is constantly growing and the online environment opens up new possibilities to provide it to a larger number of clients.
Online physical therapy cuts done on time spent traveling to and from therapy. For many, who are very busy during the week, this becomes a luxury they cannot afford. We can plan online physical therapy to suit your needs and busy schedule.
If you live remotely or in a place, where in-person physical therapy is not available online physical therapy will allow you access to a good quality health care even if you live abroad.
You only need basic equipment
Online therapy does not require demanding technical equipment. You will do just fine content with the basics that most people need today for online meetings - a laptop, tablet or a phone with a microphone and camera. Those with faster internet have a slight advantage, but regular online meetings can in reality be handled by anyone who has at least a 1.5 Mbps connection at home.
Physical therapy tailored to you
Why invest in online therapy when you can watch a lot of YouTube videos at home where instructors explain each exercise? The reason is exactly the same as with in-person physical therapy - an individual approach. Each of us has a different body and needs. That is why it is impossible to apply universal solutions. The work of a therapist, whether online or in a therapy centre, has its main focus on finding specific problems of the client and then correcting them in a personalised manner. If you only rely on general advice, you will lose the main benefit of therapy.
You will learn to exercise at home
Physical therapy does not end when we say "See you next time" after a session. You should leave therapy with specific advice and exercises that need to be practiced regularly at home. Thanks to online therapy, you will get used to exercising in your home environment and you will not have to overcome the psychological divide in motivation between therapy and home. The sooner you learn to exercise regularly at home, the faster will therapy bring out positive changes.
Although online therapy is a relatively new phenomenon, there are already studies and data on the effectiveness of this method. For example: Studie - A study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery showed that online therapy works as well as conventional physiotherapy to rehabilitate patients after knee arthroplasty. - In terms of client satisfaction, online therapy and conventional physiotherapy are comparable according to a Studypublished by The Musculoskeletal Journal of Hospital for Special Surgery. - The American Physical Therapy Association recommends online therapy as a safe and effective method of patient care.
Reducing risk of infection
Given the current epidemiological situation, it is also necessary to mention the increased safety of online therapy for people with high-risk conditions. The COVID 19 pandemic is sadly receding quite slowly, so it is very important to avoid potential infection. Physiotherapy via online tools reduces the risk of infection for both clients and therapists and ensures that everyone has access to the therapy they need, whether or not they need to be quarantined.
What about the disadvantages?
The main disadvantage is the fact, what the therapist cannot use their hands for diagnostics, evaluation and therapy. Other disadvantage may be the risk of fall if the patient is frail or elderly. It is recommended to have a family member or a friend present during the session for safety. However, online therapy is reliable for assessment of pain, swelling, range of motion, balance and gait.