The Role of Physical Therapy in the COVID-19 Crisis

The Role of Physical Therapy in the COVID-19 Crisis

by Athletico3 Comments

As we enter deeper into the COVID-19 crisis, those working within the physical therapy profession continue to face challenging circumstances managing patient care while considering the safety for themselves and their families. However, as we have moved through this crisis, I have a newfound perspective and respect for our profession as a whole.

At this point, I have realized the essentialness of our physical therapy clinics to be open during this time. We are an important part of the healthcare structure in which many times we are the first medical provider to come in contact with a patient. Patients often have many questions and concerns and need clear direction for their care, which we are able to provide through a physical therapy assessment. In fact, thanks to Direct Access laws, you can see a physical therapist without a physician referral or prescription.* In my experience, if it were not for the physical therapy profession, I know there are many patients who may have gone to the emergency room or urgent care, potentially increasing their personal risk of exposure to COVID-19. Furthermore, health systems in some states are already at capacity due to the strain of treating patients with COVID-19. Adding any more patients to a health system at capacity may have very serious consequences as a whole.

While staying open during the pandemic, physical therapists and therapist assistants have been able to continue to treat patients for issues such as musculoskeletal pain (i.e. back, knee and shoulder), dizziness/vertigo and falls. In addition, we are trained to identify other serious conditions and would be able to directly refer a patient out to the appropriate specialist potentially avoiding unnecessary medical visits.

In the end, living and working through this crisis, I am proud to know that our profession has and continues to make a difference during this pandemic.

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Athletico has furthered their commitment to helping patients during this global pandemic with the launch of our newest specialized service to rehabilitate patients recovering from COVID-19. As a member of the healthcare community, we are proud to support the health and wellness of frontline workers during the on-going public health crisis. Co-payments and co-insurance will be waived to first responders or licensed health care professionals who are seeking rehabilitation services related to recovery from COVID-19. To learn more, click here.

We are committed to the safety of our employees and patients during COVID-19. Learn about the safety measures and produces we’ve taken to keep everyone safe, including the requirement to wear face coverings in all Athletico clinics. Click here.

*Direct access laws vary by state.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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  1. Mason Smith

    I like that you talked about all the medical issues that have been fixed because the injuries never really stop during this pandemic. My spouse and I are trying to find a local physical therapist that she can go to in order to get treatment fo her back. It’s keeping her awake at night and causing her pain so she needs this therapy ASAP.

  2. Athletico

    Hello Mason, if you or someone know is experiencing daily back pain that is not getting better, it is a good idea to see a physical therapist rather than waiting weeks or months to address the issue. You can schedule a free assessment at a nearby Athletico clinic by visiting:

  3. Jonathan Go

    Thanks Mason! I would also agree that your wife should make an appointment to see a physical therapist to help diagnose what your wife is experiencing at this time and to guide her treatment so it does not go on for too long!

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