World Physiotherapy Day is held every year on 8 September, the day the World Confederation for Physical Therapy was founded in 1951. It is a day when physiotherapists and their work is showcased & significance of their contribution in the health and wellbeing of the global population highlighted. The day marks the unity and solidarity of the physiotherapy community around the world. For us at CB Physiotherapy, it is an opportunity to thank our 500+ Physiotherapists for their work and their dedication in providing quality care to patients.
The focus for this year’s World Physiotherapy Day is rehabilitation after COVID-19. Other than role of physiotherapists in the treatment and management of people affected by COVID-19, There is also a challenge of reaching out to patients who are staying at home. Since majority of physiotherapy seeking patients are elderly & more vulnerable to the corona virus, this challenge becomes even more significant. Tele-Rehab has emerged as a great tool to help deliver physiotherapy services remotely to patients. At CB Physiotherapy early adoption of tele-health was of immense help in adapting to the new normal.
Tele- Rehabilitation has significantly contributed toward the sustainable care of patients who were looking for quality care at home in the global contagion. With our Exercise Prescription software TelePT, Our Physiotherapists were quick to adapt to the new normal and help patients in their recovery while staying at home. Starting from planning of customized exercise programs for patients to monitoring the sessions online, physiotherapists at CB Physiotherapy & across the world were able to continue delivering physio care to patients even during lockdowns & stay at home guidelines. The Change from normal practice to tele-health required physios to take trainings to ensure the standard of care was maintained in tele-physiotherapy sessions as well. Lockdown meant we were unable to see people in person (face to face), but pain and injuries didn’t stop and people still needed help. By embracing technology, physios are now able to offer recovery & pain management sessions remotely through online channels (aka Telehealth, Virtual Physiotherapy, online Consultations, e-Health…)
(Physiotherapist at CB Physiotherapy offering Tele-Physiotherapy to a patient suffering from Vertigo)
Covid-19 pandemic followed by nation-wide lockdown had left many patients in a fix on how to get the much-needed physiotherapy sessions done. One Issue was management of pain & the other more serious issue was that delay in treatment could actually worsen the patient condition and chances for recovery becomes lesser. Some of the noteworthy points of tele-rehab initiatives including ours during these challenging times were.
· Manual exercises (self as well as assisted exercises) can play the most important part in a person’s recovery from COVID-19 while staying at home
· As the experts in the respective fields, physiotherapists can guide patients in how exercise and various home-based treatment modalities can help recovery at home.
· Exercise Prescription software like TelePT by CB Physiotherapy should be leveraged to provide video instructions & make understanding exercises easy for the patients
· To ensure that sessions are properly conducted, physios should monitor the sessions over video calls and guiding patients / attendants in doing proper movements during the sessions
· For less severe cases, a single session tele physiotherapy can be used to evaluate the patient & then a comprehensive home-based exercise plan can be prescribed.
· Where resources are limited, prioritize people who lived high containment zones of COVID-19 but needed rehabilitation and physiotherapy to recover from the effects of treatment for the disease.
· Tele-Physiotherapy can be provided across boundaries. At CB Physiotherapy, we also have conducted tele physiotherapy sessions to NRIs stuck in other parts of the world.
Therefore, it is very important for us to identify, recognize and appreciate the efforts and importance of physiotherapy practitioners in their contribution to delivery of healthcare. Not only that but for the general health of population, awareness needs to be created to highlight the benefits of physiotherapy and how it can help people in management of pain, maintaining mobility & improving the overall quality of life.