In the Spotlight
Virtual Physical Therapy at Home
Get exercises over VA Video Connect
Veterans are choosing video appointments more than ever, especially since the start of the pandemic. Physical therapists have adapted by providing more video appointments. If you need advice about exercise or had surgery recently, virtual physical therapy could be right for you.
Are virtual appointments a good fit?
Physical therapy improves balance, strength, mobility, and can even reduce pain. Virtual physical therapy can work for every type of visit: evaluation, treatment, reassessment, family training, and discharge. A few things the physical therapist will keep in mind when deciding if virtual physical therapy is for you:
Will you require physical support?
Do you have the space to perform exercises?
Have you had recovery or changes that would be more appropriate to see in person instead?
Do you prefer in-person appointments instead of VA Video Connect visits?
How does virtual physical therapy work?
You’ll get a link by email for a VA Video Connect or VVC session with the time and date of your appointment. Use the link to sign on and enter the virtual medical room. You’ll need to allow access to your camera and microphone and provide emergency contact information before your session. Be prepared to answer questions, demonstrate movements, and perform exercises.
What will I need for the session?
Comfortable workout clothes, such as a t-shirt or shorts that allow movement, are best for your appointment. You’ll need a quiet, open space in your home free from clutter to practice exercises too.
“Telehealth can help you. It’s safe, convenient, and will provide you with a personalized home exercise program and recommend next steps,” says Dr. Emma Shapiro, a physical therapist at VA’s New Jersey Healthcare System. If you’re still not sure whether virtual physical therapy is right for you, send a Secure Message or call your care team to ask.
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