What is TeleRehab?
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the daily lives of people around the globe, you may have observed the increased advertising and promotion of telehealth services from a number of medical providers and services. But what exactly is telehealth?
Telehealth is the broad term defined as the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient education and health administration. Telehealth can be conducted using several different types of technologies including video conferencing, media streaming and store-and-forward imaging. TeleRehab is specifically the delivery of rehabilitation services through telehealth.
Prior to the global crisis, telehealth was only utilized under specific circumstances. However, with “social distancing” mandates and the delay in non-essential surgeries, more and more medical practitioners, including physical therapists, are leaning on telehealth resources to ensure their patients care during this turbulent time.
How does TeleRehab work?
Providers can contact patients through a secure internet-based platform. Patients simply need access to a computer, tablet or smart phone with reliable internet connection. During the appointment, the physical therapist can evaluate a patient’s range of motion, strength and overall functional capabilities. Based on that assessment, the provider may provide an exercise program to improve any deficits or imbalances. They may also give tips for how to perform independent soft tissue massage or self-stretching.
TeleRehab appointments do NOT require you to have any equipment at your house. Patients may assume that they need to be equipped with the same resources they would normally have at an actual physical therapy facility. However, a TeleRehab specialist will be able to guide you through a comprehensive program with just the items that you have in your home. (Did you know a wine bottle makes a great myofascial roller? Well now you do.)
Will TeleRehab help me?
There have been several studies comparing the efficacy of telerehabilitation programs with the traditional in-person treatment. Many of the findings were promising, determining that TeleRehab assessments and treatments, in certain scenarios, can be as reliable and valid as the traditional treatments. This is NOT to say that TeleRehab is appropriate for every person or injury. We make it a priority to do a thorough initial assessment to determine if TeleRehab is a suitable alternative for you.
In general, missing only a few physical therapy visits can greatly affect the overall prognosis for a patient. TeleRehab appointments allow us to bridge the gap during the time when those who are elderly, immunocompromised, or otherwise at risk are unable to come into an office at this time. Many healthcare experts have also stressed the importance of overall health in combating and recovering from the COVID-19 virus. While eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying hydrated play imperative roles in a person’s wellness, physical therapy also has a part in maintaining an individual’s physical health.
At Excel, we truly believe that “flattening the curve” does not need to flatten your physical therapy progress. Without knowing how long the state of emergency will last, we are proud to provide a solution that brings the highest standard of care into your home.
Learn more about our TeleRehab services and schedule an evaluation to determine if virtual physical therapy is right for you. You can also visit our homepage for updates on how we’re handling the COVID-19 pandemic and a list of our currently open offices.