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Last updated on September, 17

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Best Online Physical Therapy

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Do you have a health condition that requires physical therapy? Do you want to get treated from the comfort of your own home? That’s where online physical therapy comes in. With an online session, you can get the same treatment as in-person PT without having to leave your house or schedule time off work.

Frequently Asked Questions on Online Physical Therapy

Is online physical therapy secure?

Security is one of the significant concerns when using the internet, especially if you are accessing health services online. While most providers may do everything to keep the information confidential, some may pose a risk to your privacy. According to the American Psychiatric Association and the American Telemedicine Association, online therapy providers have guidelines to follow. Here are things to look out for to ensure your safety:· Server securityServers manage traffic and direct all messages and work that pass through an online system. Servers can also store information, so protecting them is of top priority. Although the level of server security may be difficult to discover, look for a statement on the site regarding it. HIPAA ComplianceAccording to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, therapists are required to follow specific guidelines even online. These laws include the security of therapy notes and medical records that are only to be accessed by you or a personal representative. The Privacy Rule does not require your therapist to share information with other providers.EncryptionMany online therapy providers have added encryption to their systems to enhance security. This encryption makes it impossible for a third party to access information which protects your online therapy sessions.

Does insurance cover online therapy?

Some insurance plans offer coverage for video conferencing therapy; however, phone or audio therapy is not covered by health plans. It is wise to verify your coverage with your insurance carrier to find out about your benefits.

How effective is online physical therapy?

Online physical therapy is beneficial, in particular, video therapy. It offers individuals a chance to get quality care in comfortable surroundings and at an affordable rate. The therapists are certified by a physical therapy school online or offline and use proven and tested techniques to achieve results. Online schools for physical therapy train therapists to effectively use video conferencing to diagnose and treat common conditions. 

Is online physical therapy expensive?

The price of online physical therapy will depend on the style of service, and the platform the therapist is connected to. Some websites offer subscription-style services while others bill per treatment hour. Generally speaking, online therapy is more affordable than traditional in-person medicine. Not only do you save on transportation, but you also save time. Since online therapists don't have to rent office spaces, they can offer lower fees compared to clinic-based therapists. 

Is virtual physical therapy appropriate for every condition?

No. Online physical therapy is only designed to address non-emergency musculoskeletal issues. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency or have had an operation, you should not use virtual treatment. Here is a guide of some Video-Based online therapy programs and who can benefit from them:Posture TrainingOnline posture training will help keep your bones and joints aligned, which decreases the strain on the spine. Better posture, in turn, prevents fatigue and muscular pain. On a video session with your therapist, you will learn how to correct your posture and learn the proper position for sitting, driving, and lifting.Gross motor skills trainingDeveloping your motor skills may be necessary after an injury or stroke. Online physical therapy can help you regain full use of your muscles using specialized techniques. Your therapist will provide appropriate videos featuring exercises you can perform at home.Strength trainingAn online physical therapist can show you the proper technique to lift weights to prevent injury. Strength training is especially crucial if you are recovering from an injury. With video conferencing, you will learn how to regain your strength slowly. Balance trainingKeeping a proper balance helps maintain stability and prevent falls. Older adults, in particular, need this type of training to avoid ankle injury and reduce the risk of ligament problems. Purposefully training your body to improve in balance can have a positive impact on your overall health.A personalized home exercise programThese programs are tailor-made to fit your unique physical level taking into consideration any conditions you may have. Online physical therapists will design a plan that meets your needs and prevents injuries.

Can I access online therapy from my phone?

Most online therapy sites and Apps can be accessed from your phone, but you’ll need to verify this with the website and determine any limitations they have.

Can I schedule an online session if I am traveling?

Yes. Most applications and software systems use mobile geolocation to note that you are traveling. You can then have the option of updating the clinician list to the same State so you can find a therapist easier.

Will my primary health provider be notified about my online physical therapy sessions?

Once your session is complete, you will have access to your evaluation which you can download and forward to your physician. The online physical therapist is not obliged to share your information with any other health care provider, so it is up to you to pass the information.

Can you earn a physical therapy degree online?

Yes. There are many physical therapy courses online that offer physical therapy assistant online courses and other related courses. Once students graduate, they can get a physical therapy degree online, which qualifies them to practice. Physical therapists from physical therapy online colleges are given the same recognition as those who graduate from traditional colleges. It is also common for physical therapists to continue education online by enrolling in physical therapy classes online. 

Who are physical therapist assistants?

PTAs provide PT services under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. They can work in a variety of settings and help measure changes in the patient’s performance. To work as a PTA, you must be a graduate with an associate degree. Physical therapy assistant programs online offer courses that can earn students a physical therapy assistant degree online. You can even find physical therapy assistant schools online that offer the same training as traditional schools. 

Are online therapists licensed professionals?

Online therapists should be licensed to provide therapy. A reputable site will clearly state the type of licenses their medical professionals hold. You can double-check the license of therapists using a state website that shows all licensed professionals in the state. Physical therapist assistants should also complete online physical therapy assistant programs to qualify. 

 Can I choose my online therapist?

This usually depends on the website. Some sites will let you choose a therapist that is closest to you, and you can read their bios before making your choice. Other sites ask you to complete a survey stating your needs and preferences and then assign a therapist that matches. 

Can I get medication online?

Some websites can prescribe medications like antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. These are often sites that offer psychiatry-related therapy. You will need to inquire whether the site can prescribe you medication.

Is online therapy available for other conditions? 

Online therapy is not limited to physical therapy but also encompasses several conditions:Depression, anxiety, and stressOnline therapy offers the same results as one-on-one therapy. Individuals who have been diagnosed with depression will appreciate the privacy and security provided with this type of treatment. Studies show that using web-based programs improved psychological wellbeing.Panic DisorderCognitive-behavioral therapy that uses techniques such as cognitive restructuring and exposure therapy is an effective strategy for panic disorder. Online therapy sessions via texting or video conferencing platforms are cost-effective concerning therapist time.SchizophreniaTelephone and texting therapy is ideal for improving medication adherence for individuals who live independently. Studies show that social interactions increased while the severity of hallucinations reduced after teletherapy sessions.Diabetes managementOnline therapy can be used by nurses of diabetic patients to monitor the administration of diabetes treatment. With video conferencing or teletherapy, nurses can continue to monitor their patients who are homebound.Smoking cessationIntervention programs that utilize text messaging or online messaging can help smokers quit by providing continuous support. Online therapy for smoking cessation is an excellent supplement to existing smoking cessation services.

What are the different styles of online therapy?

There are different approaches to online therapy, so before you decide on an online therapy program, it is helpful to ask what treatment method they will use. You first need to know the style that will work for you. Just like traditional therapists, there are specializations in online therapists. These are some of the common forms of online therapy you’ll see:Person-Centered TherapyIn this type of therapy, your therapists act as a guide or coach and work with you to overcome challenges and reach your goals. The goal of the therapist is to offer you the best solution by providing a personalized program for you to follow. This approach allows you to develop a relationship with your coach and uses listening, empathy, and feedback during sessions.Psychodynamic TherapyThis style of online therapy is closely related to psychoanalysis. The goal of the therapist is to try and interpret your subconscious by reviewing events in your life and determining how these events shaped you. This approach is useful if you want to learn more about yourself and get a better grip on the current challenges you face.Cognitive Behavioral TherapyThis approach to online therapy is used to address depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even eating disorders. CBT uses a problem-focused approach and focuses on the problem you are facing while helping you find means to cope. Those who use CBT end up with a better quality of life and improvement in problem-solving.

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