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Telephysiotherapy During COVID-19

Published on Mar 10, 2022 and last reviewed on Mar 12, 2022   -  5 min read

Abstract

This article is about the importance of virtual physiotherapy sessions, which helps to reach out to people in need.

Contents

Introduction:

As we all are very much aware of the present scenario prevailing all over the globe, people have found a new way of living life with all the necessary activities performed digitally on an everyday basis. So, when it comes to taking physiotherapy sessions, it has also become a new norm to ask for expert advice through telephonic or video consultation as well. Physiotherapy is a field of medicine that requires hands-on physical involvement with the client and therapist. But, there are also many techniques that can be done by the client himself by demonstrations and self-help with the help of the therapist.

What Are the Benefits of Telephysiotherapy?

  1. It decreases the time consumed for traveling to the rehabilitation center.

  2. It increases the therapist-client one on one consultation time.

  3. It improves work efficiency for therapists.

  4. It increases the availability of therapists for clients.

  5. 24/7 service with follow–up protocol becomes easy for therapists.

  6. Home quarantine patients can avail themselves of teleconsultation easily without moving out of the house.

  7. It avoids direct contact and maintains social distancing with patients.

  8. Therapists can arrange a series of exercises regimen for the clients according to their requirements.

  9. It keeps the clients on their toes and encourages them to continue the advised home-based exercises.

  10. A healthy workout session together with the client can be done on a regular basis with less effort for communication purposes.

  11. It also helps therapists to create innovative and useful physiotherapy protocols that can be performed by the client at home.

  12. Demonstration becomes easy with a one-to-one consultation.

  13. The client can avail of services whenever required at ease at home.

What Are the Tools Required for Telephysiotherapy?

  1. A proper internet connection is the most important tool for accessing telephysiotherapy.

  2. A therapeutic table can be used by the therapist if he or she has her own clinic.

  3. A yoga mat, gym ball, dumbbells, weight cuffs can be used for demonstrating the exercises.

  4. A sufficient amount of space with a light background is necessary.

  5. No noise should interfere while consulting with the client.

  6. Check your sound quality.

  7. The client can ask for help from family members if it becomes difficult to follow the therapist.

What Are the Types of Physiotherapy That Can Be Practiced through the Digital Platform?

  1. Active free exercises for upper limb, lower limb, trunk, and pelvis.

  2. Self-stretch can be performed by the client.

  3. Ball exercises can be done through only visual demonstration.

  4. Pilates forms.

  5. Strengthening exercises with the help of weight cuffs and dumbbells can be done by the client himself.

  6. Aerobics, dynamic stretching, dance aerobics, all these can also be practiced.

  7. Regular workout sessions with warm-up and cool-down phases can be practiced regularly through audio-visual mode.

What Are the Diseases That Can Be Treated through Telephysiotherapy?

  1. Orthopedic conditions like knee pain, osteoarthritis, spondylitis, cervicogenic pain, spinal cord issues.

  2. Muscular pain.

  3. Frozen shoulder.

  4. Back pain.

  5. Tennis elbow.

  6. Neurological cases like nerve entrapment and disturbed sensory-motor issues.

  7. Pediatric cases.

  8. Spinal cord injury.

How Is Telephysiotherapy Helpful for People during COVID-19?

Apart from the above-mentioned issues, a physiotherapist can reach out to patients virtually for assessment, counseling, and providing a continuous path for recovery if suffering from COVID. Telephysiotherapy consultation is very much needed for patients recovering from COVID and who are staying at home. After recovery from COVID, people face a lot of breathing difficulty, which can be corrected with proper chest physiotherapy interventions.

Chest Physiotherapy through Teleconsultation:

A) Teaching the patient about various breathing exercises.

B) Deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, pursed-lip breathing, huffing, and cuffing are some of the common exercises that can be taught to the patient through teleconsultation.

C) Regular sessions can be taken with the patients to encourage them to follow the exercises without much time-consuming visiting the physio in the hospital. For post-COVID complications like,

  1. Weakness - Many people face post-COVID weakness in the body, which might last up to 6 months for recovery. Hands, legs, muscular dystrophy might occur during the weakness phase.

  2. Fatigue - A little extra effort, if done by the COVID patients, might lead to generalized fatigue all over the body, which slows down the activity level in doing the ADL chores.

  3. Joint Pain - This is a very common symptom that almost every patient suffers. Most hip joints, knee, shoulder joints, and upper back are affected.

  4. Cough - If the virus affects the respiratory system, then some patients show cough, which starts 3-4 days within COVID positive.

  5. Chest Congestion - Due to cough and respiratory involvement, chest congestion is a symptom seen in patients.

  6. Loss of Energy - Many patients find it difficult to even get from bed and do the basic daily activities due to loss of energy as the immune system has been compromised by the virus.

  7. Difficulty in Breathing - As the lungs get affected, the respiratory pathway is affected, due to which breathing becomes a huge task for patients. Shortness of breath and difficulty in maintaining the correct position for rest are some symptoms.

These all above-mentioned symptoms can be treated by telephysiotherapy. A regular telephysiotherapy session with breathing techniques followed by resting postures, relaxation techniques, percussion, deep breathing exercises, some stretching, and mindfulness maneuvers can help reduce the symptoms.

How Is Telephysiotherapy Useful to Pregnant and Geriatric Cases?

For Pregnant Ladies - Avoiding hospital visits for any fitness sessions, virtual physiotherapy sessions with experts can help them to do all the pre and post-delivery-fitness classes. Earlier it was quite unimaginative to perform the physio sessions virtually. But now, during this pandemic time, people prefer staying home and getting physiotherapy interventions at the doorstep.

For Geriatric Cases - People who are elderly or at higher risk of contacting COVID need to stay indoors. So, for them, telephysiotherapy is a boon. It helps them to stay active and healthy at home by indulging in some group activities. It gives them assurance that they are taken care of by somebody in need. They can book a consultation at their own convenience at home and follow all the home-based exercises under the guidance of the physio.

Conclusion:

Telephysiotherapy has a positive impact on the mindset of people; the traveling and transportation time is reduced, which in turn gives the patient more time to focus on more important works; group discussion, assessment, freedom of performing the activities at their own pace is achieved through teleconsultation; greater consistency is maintained between patient self-monitoring, the standard of care, and outcome; and also much cost-effective in case of service provided.

Last reviewed at:
12 Mar 2022  -  5 min read

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