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How does Physical Therapy look during COVID-19?

Dr. Joel Peck answers questions about PT operations

Great Basin Orthopaedics (GBO) Physical Therapy services are being conducted during the COVID-19 shutdown, as physical therapy (PT) is essential. We asked GBO’s Director of Physical Therapy, Dr. Joel Peck, to answer some questions about how physical therapy works during a pandemic.

Q. Why is it necessary to continue physical therapy during this crisis?
A. The pandemic has not stopped our reliance on our bodies — we still need to use them every day and that can be more difficult when we’re in pain or recovering from surgery. Physical therapy is essential to regaining function and returning to our prior level of activities of daily living.

Related: Why physical therapy matters

Q. Can we do physical therapy through telehealth, instead of going into the office?
A. Yes, although it will be limited in that we’ll be unable to provide essential manual therapy techniques or real-time pain modalities/machines. However, we can advise on proper posture during exercise and how to avoid negatively affecting any problem areas. This is especially helpful when treating osteoarthritis.

Q. Are there any exercises I can be doing at home to help speed up my recovery?
A. Yes. We will give you homework specific to your diagnosis. Depending on your needs, these could be floor exercises, education on how to transfer your body from one surface to another, or perhaps exercises you can do with a resistance band that we’ll be able to provide for you.

Q. Are there any online resources that you recommend for staying fit or maintaining my PT routine?
A. There are plenty of online resources out there. Every patient is unique, so we’ll recommend those that fit your specific needs.  

Q. How is the GBO physical therapist team ensuring a safe environment?
A. We are adhering to the CDC guidelines, which includes constantly cleaning all surfaces, hand-washing and wearing masks. We encourage all of our patients to wear masks as well.

Q. What can I do to ensure the safety of both myself and the physical therapy team during my upcoming appointment?
A. We ask that all of our patients wear some of type of face barrier, whether that’s a bandana or a mask.

Q. How is GBO addressing COVID-19 overall?
A. All staff members are screened when they come to work each day, to ensure they have no symptoms. We’re also following these precautionary guidelines for our patients:

  • Patients are asked at the time of scheduling if you or a member of your household are experiencing any symptoms.
  • You are asked to maintain the marked 6 ft. spacing upon check in.
  • You’ll be asked a series of questions when you check in.
  • You are asked to come alone, unless you need assistance.
  • Your caregiver will be asked to wait in their vehicle during your appointment.

Related: Enjoying the great outdoors in a COVID-19 world

We understand it can be difficult to understand when we should leave our homes and interact with others. Your physical health and comfort are essential, and managing your well-being is even more important now. You can reach us at 775-786-6100 to set up a conversation about any concerns you may have. Stay safe!