If you are wondering whether you can get physical therapy (PT) at home, the answer is “maybe.” Some patients can receive in-home health services during which a licensed PT will come to their home to provide therapy. Since telehealth services are very popular now, PT patients also often have the option of receiving “hands-off” treatment during online live streams with a licensed provider. It’s very appealing to choose the online option if you have difficulty scheduling treatment at an office. But, before making a decision on which route to choose, speak with a physical therapist about your unique needs and circumstances.
As an experienced Bowie, MD physical therapy provider – including those who practice at MidAtlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic– can confirm, no two patients’ needs are exactly alike. Perhaps at-home PT sounds great but isn’t the best way for you to heal from your specific injury. Or perhaps you’re hesitant to embrace a home-PT option but it would suit your situation well. You won’t be able to make informed decisions about your care until you speak with a provider about your specific needs.
In-Home Physical Therapy
For in-home therapy, licensed PTs are scheduled to visit your home and provide treatment there instead of a treatment center or rehab. Medical insurance may cover in-home therapy services if you have problems leaving your home. These reasons may include:
- having limited mobility to the extent that you can’t be transported
- leaving the home risks your health due to your injury or subsequent illness
- needing transport
If these limitations don’t apply to you, you can still request in-home physical therapy because you want the convenience, but it likely won’t be covered by insurance.
You might also need in-home therapy due to certain illnesses or conditions you have. These may include:
- hip or knee replacements
- neurological conditions (Parkinson’s, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
- heart attack
Online or “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) Physical Therapy
PTs generally do not recommend self-treatment unless it’s under the guidance of a licensed provider. Unfortunately, there are many websites out there touting exercises and suggestions for individuals to do on their own. This is risky and likely ineffective. Without guidance from a licensed PT, you could:
- overwork your muscles
- do the exercises improperly
- cause more pain
- cause another injury
- waste time doing exercises or purchasing devices you don’t need
There are some things you can do on your own that are not likely to cause issues. You can apply ice or heat to your muscles, or do some gentle stretching. Simply resting your body can be very healing.
Many physical therapy offices now offer virtual sessions, so you might have various options with the provider you choose. The bottom line on DIY is you should seek a licensed and accredited physical therapist to conduct the sessions live stream and one-on-one. Talk to your insurance company if you need coverage for in-home visits, or you can start searching for local PTs who will provide online services to meet your needs.
BY: Mid Atlantic Spinal Rehab
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