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Televists and Why I'm Offering Them

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

COVID-19 may have put the world on pause, but that does NOT mean your fitness or injury recovery has to.

With the pandemic, many outpatient physical therapy clinics were forced to take a temporary break from non-immediate patient care to re-plan with new safety guidelines, reduce the amount of unnecessary exposure, and re-visit the idea of telehealth. With the very cautious and slow return to "normal," they may be forced to utilize televisits more than they thought they ever would. Clinics had to enforce social distancing guidelines and thus reduce the amount of appointments at a given time. Personally, my own work hours were impacted with COVID-19. Many of my colleagues in San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, and the greater Bay Area were also affected.

As shelter-in-place in San Francisco was enforced on March 17th, 2020, many clinics closed their doors in order to begin problem-solving the issue of care around a pandemic. A lot of patients were left without home exercise programs and scrambling for guidance on what to do at home. Others who depended on visits with their PT were anxious about where they were going to get their relief. Even non-emergent surgical procedures were canceled.

My hours were affected, and I couldn't reach my patients anymore. After two months of anxiously waiting for updates from the CDC and watching the PT trends... it did not seem like a return to full "hands-on care" would be happening anytime soon. I had a lot practice virtually treating friends and family over text successfully already. So, I decided to launch this project so people seeking PT anywhere knew they could still work with a physical therapist during a pandemic.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is a way to visit with healthcare providers, such as your doctor or nurse practitioner. You can talk to your provider from any place! You don’t go to a clinic or hospital. They offer a safe and effective way to keep up on your health from the comfort of your own home.

But don't you need to touch people in physical therapy?

Yes and no. A HUGE part of physical therapy is patient education and exercise prescription. Yes, manual therapy has its place (and a very valuable one at that). But what if we can't use it? Luckily, it is not always necessary. If it is, we can get creative over Zoom! This may be why telehealth has had a very slow climb in the PT world. The overemphasis on our manual skills as therapists, but that topic is for another day.

Personally, I find incredible value in asking the right questions, seeing the right things, and using the right words. It's amazing how much you can find out and treat over the computer. The other great part? Helping with things that maybe don't hurt as bad. Maybe you don't have a hamstring strain now, or you had an ankle sprain 6 months ago, or you used to have back pain but don't want to again? Maybe you want a safe at-home fitness routine with proper instruction? Fitness & injury prevention! These are the cases that may not even need my hands, but instead need knowledge of the body and how it moves. Easy and effective-right from your computer.

So there you have it. What telehealth is, why I'm offering it, and why it's valuable. Explore the Services page to see all the things you can do with your PT...from virtually everywhere.

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