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During this time when limiting the spread of COVID-19 is critical, virtual therapy makes it possible for patients to continue their recovery safely. Through telemedicine video visits, patients can progress toward their physical or hand-therapy and pain-management goals with support from their therapist, all while minimizing social contact.

Is it effective?

It’s reasonable to wonder whether virtual therapy can truly compare to a gym full of equipment. In most cases, our therapists meet more than 90 percent of a patient’s therapy needs through individualized at-home exercise and stretching programs.

    How does it work?

    Virtual therapy allows patients to complete their therapy without ever leaving home. During a video visit, your therapist will assess your needs and lay out an individualized home exercise program for you. 

    Your therapist will also ensure you understand how to perform each exercise and how each exercise supports your recovery. This way, you can continue the exercise routine on your own to build strength and make progress until your next visit.


    How do I prepare?

    Preparing for your therapy video visit is simple. We recommend using a laptop or tablet for your video visit. Watching a therapist’s demonstrations on a larger video screen is more comfortable than watching on a smartphone.

    Set up your device in an area of your home where you have space to perform exercises. Wear the same type of attire you would wear to the gym – loose, comfortable clothing that allows you to move and stretch the targeted body part. Then, you’re all set to begin your therapy session.

    Is it right for me?

    Virtual therapy is an ideal fit for many patients, whether recovering from surgery or addressing a chronic condition. Call your local OrthoCarolina therapy clinic to ensure a video visit best fits your present needs.

    Often, post-surgical patients are unable to drive and may experience pain when entering and exiting a vehicle. Virtual therapy eliminates these travel obstacles and can minimize a patient’s discomfort. For some post-surgical patients, their initial therapy appointment to re-establish motion can be conducted from home.

    With this in mind, there are cases when hands-on therapy is necessary to progress a patient’s recovery. Patients may need to come into the clinic occasionally for their progress to be physically evaluated before resuming at-home appointments.

    Similarly, patients who experience pain may need an in-person visit to alleviate the pain quickly. These patients can then continue therapy with video visits to prevent the pain from returning.

    All in all, incorporating virtual therapy into your treatment plan can be an effective way to maintain your recovery progress and your overall health. 

    Speak with your therapy team today to see if a video visit is the right fit for you.

    Kelsey McRichards, MS, MBA, is the vice president of ancillary services at OrthoCarolina. 

    This article was originally published on April 6, 2020, and has been updated on January 27, 2021.

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