In the recent times , the world has taken a great leap in terms of health ,business ,communication , education etc . When the pandemic started COVID 19 made a huge difference in the lives of people everything shifted from physical mode to online mode be it education , e-commerce or health . Health is something people are highly concerned at this point of time so the health professionals switched into telehealth as a matter of choice for themselves and the patients.
Telerehabilitation in physical therapy made a huge impact on the physiotherapy community and as well as the patients. It played a great role as there was no need of physical presence in the clinics or hospitals. As the world is developing so as technology the health professionals has made correct use of technology such as computer, smartphones ,internet to treat their patients and it is denoted as m health as it is easily accessible, low cost and high reach for the patients.
In this time where the world is maintaining social distancing with bare minimum of physical contact ,telerehabilitation has evolved as a savior to connect with the patient through screens. As the patient who requires treatment cannot travel or meet the physiotherapists ,they still need utter care and treatment for their recovery and well being . Telerehab itself says rehabilitation with the help of technology so the doctors , PTs treated their patient through screens . It helped the patient to be physically active , recover rather than detoriating. During the pandemic patient with enormous diseases came to check with their PTs . When the whole world was under lockdown and people were inside their homes many developed new diseases and many complained of worsen conditions of their diseases that already existed.
Some of such dieases were musculoskeletal disorder such as low back pain ,PIVD, osteoarthiritis, frozen shoulder,plantar fasciaitis , trauma or injury due to fall , neurological disorder such as nerve palsy, impingement syndromes, incoordination and balance issues, stroke etc . We can also see issues with cardiovascular and respiratory system. The arising of such health issues are due to various reasons such as physical inactivity, anxiety , eating disorder etc so with the help of telerehabilitation , the patients are eagerly interested in it for having a healthy lifestyle and coping up with the preexisting heath issues .
ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT
Although telerehabilitation has its own pros and cons but we as physiotherapists has made an effective use of telehealth gradually . The assessment ,diagnosis and treatment are altogether done through telecommunication such as
- DEMOGRAPHIC DATA
- CHIEF COMPLAINTS
- HISTORY OF ILLNESS
- PERSONAL AND FAMILY HISTORY
- OBSERVATION ASSESSMENT that includes
- Posture, gait ,Range of motion ,flexibility ,strength , pain assessment ,special tests
Special test and other observation examination can be demonstrated to the patient so that he could perform on his own and rule out the provisional diagnosis .
However , there are some drawbacks in telerehab too such as hands on examination, palpation etc cannot be done without having the patient beside . During covid 19 the advancement in health technology as created immense help in the physiotherapy community such as medical data records , smart apps such as pedometer , The use of videoconferencing allows for the provision of consultations, diagnostic assessments and delivery of treatment interventions as well as providing verbal and visual interaction between participants.
EXCERCISES AND TREATMENT – with the help of teleconsultation patient can perform the excercises and follow the treatment routine given by the PT , such as stretching excercises, isometric excecrises , strengthening and flexibility excercises .
They can also use household products and things to perform these excercises such as
- A chair for sit to stand excercises , to hold and squat for support
- Any ball tied in a rope for pendulum excercises
- Staircase walking
- Plastic water bottles
- Towels for stretching
- Pets as weights
- Board games
- Couch cusion or pillows
- FOR Respiratory excercises – candle blowing, balloon blowing , bubble creating in water by straw
With growing technology , evolving humankind and embarkment of science at top notch ,telerehabilitation or telehealth has grown so much in the past few years that the health care professionals must be aware of the evolving changes in technology to make physiotherapy an interactive environment with the patient. This will support an increase in motivation and facilitate participation in a home exercise program. Most important is during covid 19 pandemic were we should avoid physical interactions to much extent ,telehealth has come as a savior for the patient so that they can be cured at home without getting affected by the pandemic.
GARGIE PANNU HAZARIKA
SECRETARY, STUDENT WING
GLOBAL ASSOCIATION FOR PHYSIOTHERAPY