Physical therapy clinics still open, but encouraging at-home exercise

Many physical therapists still working, but encouraging exercise at home

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Many physical therapy clinics are still open and treating patients recovering from surgery, but therapists also want to encourage people to stay active at home.

“It helps reduce stress, helps reduce anxiety, it helps the total body, and it’s one thing you can control right now,” said Jason Greene, co-owner of Peak Performance Physical Therapy.

Peak clinics are working with reduced staff and fewer patients, and they’re taking extra precautions like temperature checks and more space between appointments. Greene says they want to practice safely while still easing the burden on the healthcare system.

“We can offset some of the hospital needs and keep people out of pain, monitor if they have any post-surgery complications,” he said.

Greene says it’s vital for people to find ways to exercise while stuck at home.

“It helps people to not only prevent a lot of stiffness and pain from this inactivity, but also you're at home, and what do you do at home? You eat more, become more sedentary sometimes,” he said.

With gyms ordered closed by the governor, Greene says people should get creative with their daily exercise at the house.

“Flexibility, strength, squatting, lunging, walking, doing stairs if you have them, just anything to kinda’ keep that motion,” he said.

Many gyms have posted free workouts online, including the YMCA. Their 360 channel offers virtual Yoga, Barre, Boot Camps, workouts for seniors, and more.

Peak also recently launched virtual physical therapy visits over a computer or smartphone.

“If patients are interested in being looked at over FaceTime, Skype, things like that, we have therapists available to monitor their exercises. We can supervise them,” Greene said.

Experts also recommend spending some time in the sunlight every day. A quarantine or shelter-in-place order does not mean you can’t be in your yard outdoors.

Preliminary research shows the novel coronavirus is mainly spread from person-to-person in close contact or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible to be infected by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes.

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