The primary focus of physical therapy is to improve the body’s ability to move without pain. These movements can be anything from playing sports to taking a walk around your neighborhood to buttoning a shirt. But can remote physical therapy help those who suffer from arthritis?
Because physical therapists are licensed, educated professionals on preventing conditions that limit a body’s ability to move well, the short answer is yes, they can!
What to expect from your remote physical therapist
The first scheduled appointment with your remote physical therapist usually involves learning what activities you do that cause pain, or are difficult because of your arthritis. Your PT will want to know anything that becomes challenging, no matter how large or small.
Next, the PT will create an appropriate, specialized plan to address the issues causing you arthritic pain. Ultimately, the goal is to teach you how to self-manage as much as possible.
For example, your goals will likely focus on:
- Improving mobility and restoring use to affected joints
- Increasing strength to support the joints
- Preserving the ability to perform key daily activities
- Maintaining fitness
Remember, all of these goals can be addressed through a virtual physical therapy appointment.
What a remote PT will do for you
After your PT hears about what is causing you pain and the two of you discuss the goals you’d like to achieve, they’ll put together a customized plan to address your specific conditions. This plan will likely be designed to reduce arthritic pain, and improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Your PT can:
- Demonstrate how to properly use assistive devices for arthritis or others like walkers and canes
- Educate on proper posture and body mechanics for everyday activities to improve function and reduce pain
- Recommend specialized treatment options like braces and splints to support joints, shoe inserts to relieve stress on the lower back and lower extremities, or hot and cold therapy to reduce joint point and stiffness
- Offer suggestions on how to modify your home, like cushioned mats in common standing areas or even ergonomic chairs
It’s important to keep realistic expectations when it comes to remote physical therapy and arthritis. Because arthritis is a chronic condition, it will continue to change over time. But remote PT is still a great option for reducing pain and making it easier to participate in everyday tasks.