Five most common questions about physical therapy during COVID
In the current world we live in, most of us are doing everything in our power to avoid getting sick. If you’re like me, this would include staying out of a doctor’s office unless it was absolutely necessary. So when something starts hurting, most people are just ignoring it, or hoping it will just go away.
But there’s a problem with that. Most things don’t just go away on their own without some help, at least not quickly anyway. AND...Covid isn’t going anywhere. So you could be waiting a very long time. Fortunately, there is a better way! Physical Therapy (PT) can help relieve your pain, and bring the joy back to the activities you love. So I wanted to share with you the 5 most common questions we’re getting about PT to help you decide what’s right for you.
Do I need a referral to come see a Physical Therapist? No! You do not. In Utah, you can just walk in our door any time you hurt something, and we can help you feel better right away. We’ll even call your insurance company just to make sure they don’t require a referral first.
Is in-person PT safe? It certainly is. We consider it our first priority to keep every person who comes in our door as safe as possible. We have moved equipment where possible to maintain social distancing, and constantly keep an eye on the flow of people through our clinics to avoid over-crowding. Any time a piece of equipment is touched, it is immediately cleaned before anyone else can use it. And of course we are following all CDC guidelines to check temperatures and wear masks to help keep our community safe!
Are there virtual options for treatment if I can’t come into the clinic? You bet! We can simply send you a link to click on your phone or computer, which will pull up a video chat platform. No need to download anything! From there, we can watch certain movements, check your home work set-up, and give you corrective exercises right away. Are you stuck at home doing online learning with kids? Would you like to feel better but don’t feel comfortable yet in a public setting? Then this video visit could be a great option for you!
Are the virtual visits as effective without hands-on treatment? While our therapists use a lot of hands-on techniques in the clinic, many things can be fixed by correcting movement patterns, activating the right muscles, and changing certain postures among other things. Even after surgery, rehab can be done successfully online. Yes, there are some things that can’t be treated through a screen. Not sure if it will work for your situation? Give us a call and we can guide you where you need to go!
Can I just wait it out, do my rehab after the pandemic? If you have a high pain tolerance and don’t mind missing out on activities in your life, then sure. But this isn’t the best strategy for most of us. When we are in pain, our bodies respond by making certain things tighter and shutting off important muscles. This changes how we move, which changes the forces that go through our bodies and often leads to more pain. The longer this goes on, the more sensitive the pain nerves become. And as I mentioned above, who knows how long the pandemic will last? The moral of the story is, the earlier you address the problem, the easier it is to get rid of. Now more than ever, being able to move and stay active is extremely important for our overall health and fitness levels. Don’t put off your pain and let it slow you down!
I see every day the emotional toll that being in pain takes on us. Whether it’s missing out on playing with grand-kids...not being able to de-stress because you can’t swing a golf club or racket...missing out on your escape to nature because you can’t hike or bike...or whatever your thing is. All of our lives are crazy right now, but that’s not a reason to avoid taking care of yourself and miss out on these things! Give us a call and talk with one of our Physical Therapists to find out how we can help you get back to life during the pandemic!
Rob Drenning PT, OCS, FAAOMPT