Case Studies in Physical Therapy: Transitioning a "Hands-On" Approach into a Virtual Platform

Aideen Turner


Technology is expanding at an unprecedented rate. Because patients value the speed and convenience of the internet, there is an increasing demand for telemedicine.  Practitioners must therefore adapt their clinical skills to evolving online technologies. This paper presents a series of three case studies in which a physical therapist first assessed and treated musculoskeletal disorders via a live, secure video. The basis of the mechanical assessment was observation of movement rather than palpation. In each case, the virtual mechanical assessment identified a specific sub-classification with a directional preference.  All patients reported improvements in symptoms and function in less than four visits and all maintained a reduction in symptoms after three months. Given the “hands-off” role of the evaluator, this approach can become an effective tool in the evolving healthcare platform of telerehabilitation.



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