During the Covid 19 outbreak it is important to be safe. Follow social distancing guidelines and stay home as much as possible. But what are you supposed to do if you are in high levels of pain? What are you to do if your health is substandard and interfering with your vitality and function? Just wait it out til the end of this virus? I believe the answer is an emphatic NO! There are ways to stay safe and continue to work on health strategies. And there are reasons why this is important.
We have limited hours and reduced the number of appointments in person at the clinic, but we are still seeing patients for those who find their condition would worsen without our help. Here are some examples of people who found it important to come in to the clinic for treatment.
One person’s swelling was not being helped in any other setting, it was causing immobility, fatigue and pain. The person’s overall health was declining to the point of not being able to participate in usual daily activities or enjoy family and friends. An intensive treatment plan was finished just at the start of Washington’s stay at home order. The individual worked for a week independently, using compression, exercise and self-massage. But the swelling increased in the course of the week. It was application of professional manual lymphatic drainage that keeps it at bay and helps keep forward momentum with a home program. This is an example of need for care even in a pandemic. Not receiving treatment will result in loss of progress, increased disability and the need for more medical intervention that is more costly and in short supply during this time of crisis.
Another person with chronic digestive problems was having symptoms of a bowel blockage. Having experienced it before, the individual consulted their primary care doctor who said please stay away from the emergency room if you can. The risk to this person’s health was too great. The doctor’s recommendation was nursing the symptoms along at home and stay on a clear liquid diet. The last time something like this occurred, the person was on a clear liquid diet for 6 months. Visceral manipulation and manual lymphatic drainage are treatments that can help improve intestinal and bowel functioning. After one visit, the person is beginning to eat solid foods, that is after one week of symptoms.
These are examples of the imperative nature of physical therapy and the potential of the advanced manual skills we offer when provided in the context of skilled clinical reasoning.
But manual therapy is only one third of a well-rounded physical therapy treatment. We also provide prescriptive exercise training for the individual and self-care education. In fact, the manual therapy effect will not last without effective exercise and self-care skill development. Physical therapists are the ones that do this!!
Individual guidance on exercise progression and integrating self-care skills and routines into daily life are foundational to the treatment we provide at Therapy Solutions. In this time of Covid 19, we can very effectively provide this at a safe distance. And we are!!
We also have examples of patients receiving benefits during this time through telehealth.
For instance, a person with chronic health issues and multiple sites of joint stiffness and pain, is meeting weekly through telehealth for exercise instruction. The exercises are resulting in reduction in pain, better sleep, and carrying over into better function. There is even visible improvement in range of motion and muscle relaxation during the telehealth session. Therapy is able to continue and the individual’s health continues to improve. We are able to discuss self-care skills.
There are some great group classes going on virtually (and we are offering some!) But one on one with your physical therapist will be focused to your particular needs and get you farther faster. That is what we are trained for! A family member went through ACL reconstruction. After initially having individual care, they were then moved to group rehab. The family member decided to return to one on one and made exponential improvements under the specific guidance by an expert PT. We can do, and have done, that by watching and guiding you via a screen chat!
Telehealth and ongoing patient support through affordable online tracking has been a vision of Therapy Solutions for six years. The addition of Irene Luc, DPT, to our staff has accelerated that and brought the vision to reality in the past year. Through the combined efforts of Dr. Irene and Dr. Christina Rankin, DPT, we had most of our program in place when the pandemic hit. We can help you now from the safety of your home! Don’t put it off!
Because of the pandemic we are providing telehealth at reduced cash rates. We chose this over insurance billing to insure low cost and ease. [There is too much confusion and overwhelm in the insurance industry right now.] We will provide a superbill so that you can potentially get reimbursement from your insurance company and we can cut out the cost of doing billing to give a better rate.
Why you want to continue your physical therapy distantly during this time.
1. Your best insurance is daily self-care. Even if you were to get sick, being fit and well can help you through illness.
2. Physical therapy can provide the best pain management because we teach you how to change your pain on your own.
3. Physical therapy can help you achieve life goals.
4. If you have trouble being consistent, that is a sign you need some help with it. Humans need each other. We always have and always will. No athlete achieved high levels of ability without a coach. You are no different!! You will make better progress in your physical goals with individual guidance.
5. Seeking help from a PT first has been the vision of this profession for twenty years. We can do medical screening and recommend more medical workup as needed. We can help you figure out how to navigate daily life with less pain, and how to integrate health practices easily. We are the profession to step in and be your stop gap during this pandemic
6. Physical therapy can help you not just get by, but rather, thrive in all circumstances.
7. If you are at home, now there may be more flexibility in your schedule to take on some new learning. Spending a little now could save you a lot later.