Updated: Feb 2, 2022
The year 2020 marks one of the most difficult years in our history in so many ways. It has tested each country and race and we have seen the resilience of each and everyone when the pandemic hit the world. But we have seen the strength and innovative minds that humans have through this difficult time, and one of them is how Physical Therapy and rehabilitation changed people’s perception of the profession and many have seen how important Physical Therapy is during this pandemic.
This pandemic also provided Physical Therapy the opportunity to share its insight on how important PT is in the long term. This article would give you an insight into how Physical Therapists adjusted their provision of care to their patients.
Like all other healthcare professionals, Physical Therapists are coming up with ways to work with the current health guidelines. Our patients’ health is our topmost priority. Many Physical Therapists came up with telehealth as well as home services where patients are not required to visit the clinic to keep themselves and the therapists safe and to reduce the risk of getting the coronavirus.
During the lockdown, many people have suffered from body pain and it’s not a joke. Having to work from home, do household chores, and take of the family- literally, everyone forgot the importance of physical activity and made everyone a little sedentary.
The most common pain that people felt according to complaints were back fatigue coming from long hours of sitting and headaches. Having nothing to do, people stay at home to just watch Netflix and chill and forgot that Physical therapy can help in terms of pain management. One of the most common requests of patients is pain relief through Physical Therapy. It’s effective, very safe, and 100% foolproof since exercises and management done are individualized for each patient.
Another most common requests are do-at-home stretching exercises. Physical Therapy is known for giving the best stretching exercises that target specific parts of the body. Stretching is very important since it improves flexibility and muscle strength. We always reiterate to our patients that stretching is important especially before doing activities that require a lot of movement, say, doing household chores. Not only does it help with flexibility but also reduces the risk of other injuries.
And since the pandemic happened, many became aware of the importance of stretching exercises to deal with some muscle problems and opted to have consultations rather then doing it themselves to avoid injuries or aggravate their health situation. Telehealth has helped a lot for consultations and also virtual meetings to demonstrate exercises properly to patients. Others open their clinics and appointments are strictly implemented to avoid overcrowding in the area especially when it comes to manual therapy, during which Physical Therapists take a literal hands-on approach.
More than just the Muscle Workout
Physical Therapists also understand that this pandemic has affected us in so many levels due to isolation, especially with our emotional and mental state. And with that, it can be pretty detrimental to the patient. And so, Physical therapists also made it a point to reach out and check in with their patients who needs it the most.
Communication is key, even before the pandemic hit. And now, it became vital more than ever. And with technology, it became easier for PT to make it a point to remind patients that they are not alone and despite the situation, they will get better and improve.