Virtual Physical Therapy

Currently, many Americans are being encouraged to isolate themselves in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus. However, not being able to go to their physical therapy sessions can have negative impacts on many people. 

Our Whatcom Physical Therapy team is committed to the safety of our patients and staff. We’re also aware that interrupting your therapy program is problematic. Fortunately, our team has a solution for you to consider: virtual physical therapy. 

How does virtual physical therapy work?

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) defines telemedicine as “the use of electronic communications to remotely provide health care information and services.” One of the telemedicine services that physical therapists can offer is called virtual physical therapy. This service is also called virtual care or remote physical therapy. It involves using an online service or app to have electronic sessions with a physical therapist. 

At Whatcom Physical Therapy, we offer virtual physical therapy through a secure web-based platform that allows you to have a session with a therapist that includes live audio and video in addition to in-clinic visits. 

What issues can virtual physical therapy help with?

Virtual physical therapy is effective for patients with many issues, and it can often be just as effective as in-person physical therapy. A few of the problems that virtual physical therapy can assist people with are: 

  • Post-surgical rehab — This type of therapy is intended to help people recover normal function after surgery. Patients who have just had surgery might be worried their therapy will be delayed by the need to isolate themselves. However, virtual physical therapy offers a post-surgical rehab option that doesn’t require you to leave your home. Additionally, one medical study reveals that virtual physical therapy offers similar function gains and pain relief compared to in-person therapy.

  • Chronic pain management — A 2016 study reveals that about 50 million Americans deal with chronic pain. People with this type of pain have typically been experiencing it for at least three months. Issues that can cause chronic pain include arthritis and fibromyalgia. If you deal with chronic pain issues, virtual physical therapy at home can help you reduce your dependency on pain medication. 

Virtual physical therapy can also assist other patients, too, including those who: 

  • Are existing Whatcom Physical Therapy patients
  • Have recently developed a musculoskeletal injury
  • Are looking for an initial evaluation for an injury or medical condition from a physical therapist
  • Currently have an in-home therapeutic exercise program

What steps should I take to prepare for a virtual physical therapy appointment?

You’ll likely be surprised at how similar preparing for a virtual physical therapy session is to preparing for an in-person session. It’s still recommended that you wear loose, comfortable clothing to the session. However, there are some steps you should take that are unique to virtual physical therapy sessions. Some of these steps include: 

  • Check your email for virtual care appointment confirmations and reminders.
  • Make sure that your internet or cellular data connection is stable.
  • Using a device that has a functioning microphone, speaker and camera.
  • Make sure that the device you’re using can operate hands-free. Virtual physical therapy patients need to be able to focus on their therapy without worrying about operating a communication device. If you’re using a smartphone or a tablet, find something secure that you can prop your device up against.
  • Make sure your internet browser is updated. 
  • Clear an area of your home so you have enough room to perform therapeutic exercises. 

How much will I pay for virtual physical therapy from Whatcom Physical Therapy?

Virtual physical therapy care is covered by most major insurances in the same way as an in-person visit. Our team also accepts credit and debit as well as Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) payments for Medicare, Medicaid and self-pay patients.

Find virtual physical therapy at Whatcom Physical Therapy

Are you ready to try a virtual physical therapy session? Our team at Whatcom Physical Therapy can help. We’re offering virtual physical therapy appointments for existing and new patients.

Want to find out more? Contact our team today for more information about virtual physical therapy sessions or to schedule your initial appointment.