A new research study that was presented for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine showed that remote programs could produce similar results to traditional physical therapy sessions. As David J. Berkoff, MD, noted in his presentation, patients that were taught shoulder rehabilitation exercises by video and by person had similar success rates.
Berkoff noted that:
These results are significant for two reasons. First, having an additional tool to augment what the patient learns at an initial physical therapy visit may help with exercise accuracy and hopefully therefore improve outcomes. Additionally as access to physical therapy becomes more limited due either to cost or insurance, identifying new tools to better help out patients will be essential.
As we move into an era where healthcare costs are rising and virtual options provide many of the same benefits as in-person ones, this research bears considering. While initial suggestions and treatment plans should be discussed with and formulated with your healthcare team, there may be online or virtual options that you can use as well. These will be best used after the initial period of rehabilitation in order to increase strength and flexibility.
There are many virtual training programs available: from PDFs to videos.
OrthoInfo, a division of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, provides multiple physical therapy routines for a number of conditions. These routines are in a PDF format which makes them easy to view on a computer or print out for reference. There are programs for:
- Rotator cuffs and shoulders
- Feet and ankles
Likewise, online videos provide a great source of information. Excel Physical Therapy and Fitness has a video library with dozens of exercises. These include exercises for the hips, core, neck, and back among others.
Once approved by your healthcare team, you can consider using either of these as supplemental materials for your own rehabilitation. Always perform these exercises under your doctor’s approval as you don’t want to increase your chances for injury. When used with consideration, however, these free physical therapy resources can provide a valuable component to your own treatment.
Do you use any online exercise resources?
Image by Dave Crosby via Flickr