Most people don’t realize this, but off-the-clock physical therapists are diagnosing people all the time without getting them on a treatment table. It’s second nature to us. My kids remember walks along the Pearl Street Mall where I would notice a total stranger walking in front of us with a back or hip problem and then whisper what I thought was wrong. I couldn’t help myself! These days, I get teased about it in my house. If we see someone with a limp while we’re out hiking, my grown kids ask “OK tell us what’s wrong with him mom?”
The point is, part of our profession is noticing subtle movement abnormalities just by looking. We do it when we are treating patients in the clinic, and apparently in my case when I’m out to dinner with my family. Sure, we physical therapists use our hands to diagnose and treat movement problems, but our visual systems do the early work, and sometimes the most important work. Because our eyes are always a part of good treatment, Telehealth physical therapy can be really effective. Plus, if you sign up for Telehealth, we promise we’ll tell you what we notice, rather than just whispering it to our partners and kids!
Now some good news: Medicare will now reimburse physical therapists for Telehealth visits. (Many other insurances already do so – call if you have questions about coverage.)
Testimonials by patients who have experienced Telehealth:
- I was very impressed by the remote healing session and how you were able to connect to my body. I didn’t know what to expect from the Telehealth visit, but I was very pleased with the results. S.K.
- First, and this is important, remember that this is VIDEO so wear all appropriate clothes. Don’t forget pants. Second, hide or throw away empty pizza boxes and beer cans BEFORE your session. If your therapist sees them, you may have some ‘splainin’ to do. Third, have all of your therapy equipment and props available so your therapist can see what you have to work with. In closing, I would say that every ALTA patient should schedule at least one telehealth session for the simple, but important, reason that it will be the first time that your therapist has an opportunity to see what equipment you have to work with at home and help you use it to the best advantage. Plus, it helps us maintain a connection with our bodies that we need right now. But don’t forget the pants and pizza boxes. M.R.
- I thought the Telehealth visit was incredibly effective, recognizing that I am relatively far along on my healing journey and don’t necessarily need hands-on treatment. I’ve actually mentioned it to several folks in the medical community because it was so effective. I think being able to do these kinds of remote check-ins with a PT would improve compliance with the sort of lifestyle, exercise and body mechanics changes necessary to reduce or eliminate pain. Honestly, I would prefer to do it this way once out of the acute phase. R.N.
- I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was getting desperate to see my therapist to change up my at-home strengthening exercises. We did a Telehealth visit, and I wasn’t disappointed! She was able to see my posture and movements well enough on the screen to intuit a new, more effective routine to progress my healing. I did the exercises while she watched to get direction and hints on how to do it most effectively. Afterwards, she sent a list of the exercises just like when I visit the office. I am so grateful that this was an option. A.S.
- I totally recommend Telemedicine as a way to stay connected to your provider and continue to get the physical and emotional support needed, especially during these uncertain times. After my session I felt grounded and restored again. I got new exercises that were really helpful to ease pain and make movement easier. L.M.
- “I really enjoyed our time together the other day. It was extremely beneficial for me. I am feeling so much better now. I am doing really well. I really appreciate all the time you spent with me. Energy level is good played 9 holes of golf again.” M.S.
- Before: “My sciatica is really bothering me and every time I exercise it gets worse. Have NO idea how a video treatment could work but I’m willing to give it a try.” After: “Yes, my back was better all weekend and in general I am feeling better and able to exercise without pain. Thank you!” P.N.
Medicare has realized how important pain free function is to your overall health. PT plays a vital role in keeping you healthy and mobile. We are offering visits in the clinic or via Telehealth for both new and established patients. Please call today to schedule a visit.
If you are an established patient and are unsure which option to use, please contact your therapist via email:
Jane Milliff – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Hayne – email@example.com
Jonathan Oldham – firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Brooks – email@example.com
Scott Swann – firstname.lastname@example.org
Russ Overy – email@example.com
Allyson Friday – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross Bodine – email@example.com
1 thought on “Assistance From A Distance”
Initially skeptical about the effectiveness of using Telehealth with my regular Alta therapist, I was pleased that he could make observations and suggestions that helped me continue to make significant progress with my healing.