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Physiotherapy at Home Vs physiotherapy in a physio-clinic.
There has always been and still is, the dilemma of whether it is better for the patient to undergo home treatment or whether physiotherapy in a physiotherapy clinic is more effective.
In one case the patient feels the security of his home and in the other, there is a fully equipped space that will provide him with rehabilitation as he deserves. So, what is the best thing for me? That’s not you wondering when you have to decide? So, let’s answer together.
Is It Safer to Do Physiotherapy at Home Now with Coronavirus?
To the already existing dilemma of the last two years was added the pandemic that completely changed the map of our choices. Therapeutic intervention, although always very important, for some patients came second to the pandemic. The pandemic itself in turn created, and not unjustly, a climate of fear of spread and possible coronavirus infection.
The general instructions for restraint and attention to socializing to reduce dispersion, isolated us in our homes and forced us to take additional measures of non-socialization in our daily lives. The isolation, although much more intense at first, eventually succumbed to the patient’s need for physiotherapy intervention and rehabilitation.
The need for physiotherapy intervention has existed, exists, and will exist today in fact to an increased degree. This is because there is an increase in respiratory infections, including covid-19 respiratory infection. Thus, respiratory physiotherapy rehabilitation after infections or after the intubation of patients from the intensive care unit but also as a cure, at home, became vital.
Of course, the need for rehabilitation of the well-known orthopedics, neurology, postoperative, cardiopulmonary, pediatric, etc. did not cease to exist. patients. It is therefore a dilemma for the patient, whether he will prefer home physiotherapy or will prefer rehabilitation in an organized physiotherapy environment. Which is the right one;
Is there right and wrong in the preference of treatment? Perhaps this is a question that often weighs on the decision of the patient or his family.
Security is always subject to the subjective judgment of each of us. Someone feels safer in their home as they believe that this way, they have better control over who enters and what specifications they have to meet. But is that so in the end?
Most likely, the space cannot be completely controlled as it does not have the necessary equipment. Of course, there is a limited number of people who will come to our house, and that is a good thing.
However, it is probably more emotional that one feels safe because one is at home. This is because today the areas that provide primary health care, in addition to the complete vaccination of all, are very organized with space and air sterilization machines to reduce to a minimum the spread of viruses and bacteria.
Also, the space is disinfected after each patient and the treatment is completely individualized and individual. At least this must be done according to the WHO and in our area we do it.
Is physiotherapy intervention at home different from that of an organized physiotherapy clinic?
This is a question that often the patient asks us in order to find out if home treatment is equal to the organized treatment that will be done in the physiotherapy clinic. Although there is no clear answer as it depends on the circumstances I will try to answer as comprehensively as I can.
The intervention does not differ much between the home and the organized physiotherapy. There are many portable machines today, such as electrotherapy, treatment bed, ultrasound, etc., that make the home treatment effective.
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that studies have shown that in terms of postoperative rehabilitation of knee arthroplasty, rehabilitation at home was less than that performed in a physiotherapy clinic.
Rehabilitation does not always depend on which patient you have to treat and how much you can execute and follow orders. The site plays a very important role only in specialized treatment approaches and patients who cannot or do not want to move or, conversely, do not want home treatment.
In any case, the experience, the specialization, the scientific training of the physiotherapist, and how he approaches the problem so that the treatment is effective, rather than the place, play a bigger role.
Which patients can benefit most from home treatment?
The choice of the place, home or hospital, where the intervention will take place depends on various factors that may influence our decision.
One of the reasons that home treatment may be appropriate is:
- the patient’s age. In the elderly who cannot move easily, it is preferable to opt for home treatment. The same is true of high-risk infants, and age and fear of infection make choosing home treatment an urgent need.
- if they are bedridden. In case the patient cannot move, home treatment is the only option.
- they cannot find the time or a way to move. Many times, the patient’s daily life hinders his movement and the only easy option is home treatment. It is more convenient and can be entered into its schedule more easily.
- if they are postoperative patients. Very often the patient going home needs immediate treatment and this is difficult to do if he has to move, at least for the first time.
- after a heart attack. Usually, after a heart attack, the patient needs time to regain his strength so he chooses home treatment.
- in case of multiple sclerosis and other similar neurological diseases. Rehabilitation in such cases is the only way to home treatment as the patient usually slowly loses his strength.
- in case of a stroke. At first, the patient may not be able to move and choose home treatment.
- by habit. Patients are sometimes accustomed to this therapeutic approach and it is more convenient for the therapist to come to them than to move.
- in injuries or fractures. When there is an inability to move due to an injury or fracture, home treatment is indicated.
In any case, the decision to choose the place and the way of intervention is a two-way street. We as physiotherapists must be able to know and explain to the patient or his relatives what is best for him and his goals.
We know better the pros and cons of each option and it is good to share them and document them so that the patient has a complete view of his own best course. Each of us is unique and that is how we should treat him.
What are the treatment homes according to them?
Not all people are the same and of course, as patients they are different. We all benefit from different things. Some flourish through the sociability of an organized space and some get better faster by staying safe in their own home.
Some people have specific needs and find it difficult to leave home for different reasons as discussed above. As those responsible for providing primary health care, physiotherapists are here to help in any case where the patient is unable, or refuses to move, with all the means at our disposal.
For some patients, home remediation may be desirable, but it may also be appropriate. But who are the people who can benefit most from home treatment?
If you meet one or more of the following criteria, you are probably one of the patients who prefer to exercise at their place.
- When it suits you best to retrieve and achieve your optimal function within your environment.
- You do not need to arrange for someone to take you to the physiotherapy center.
- You may not want someone to know you need help.
- The physiotherapist can help you tidy up your home according to your needs.
- Exercising at home may create a commitment, a way of practicing in your home environment, that will push you to keep exercising.
- The sense of independence you gain from improving and gaining functionality in your home makes you more optimistic.
- The intimacy that develops between you and your physiotherapist from the fact that he comes into your home and knows the details of your life to help you whenever necessary.
- When you are afraid that you are not safe outside the home.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a recovery environment. All the factors that make each person and his space special must be taken into account.
Are There Different Types of Physiotherapy at Home?
Physiotherapy differs from the individual need of the patient and the goal we want to achieve and not from the point that appears. This is the ideal I would say should happen.
Intervention at home is limited by some factors that are not objectively present in the specialized and equipped area of a physiotherapy center, such as a treadmill or other fitness and rehabilitation equipment e.g. cardiorespiratory function.
Physiotherapy does not differ in the type but in the way of providing the intervention itself and the facilities provided by an organized space.
Thus, the provision of physiotherapy intervention at home, whether it concerns an adult, an infant, or a child, does not differ in terms of type but terms of its application, without this meaning that if it is necessary to be at home, it will not be effective.
I choose to advise where the intervention will take place, on a case-by-case basis and depending on the need, age, conditions, and of course the possibilities of movement.
What are the benefits of physical therapy treatment?
There aren’t two people who are alike. This is what makes us as complex and interesting people. This is also what makes it so exciting to be a healer!
So, there are people who want and need to go to an organized treatment area. The patients who will benefit more from such a therapeutic approach in an organized physiotherapy clinic are:
- Patients who want to participate in a wider social context are happier when they know that they can become autonomous outside the home.
- Patients who are more motivated when working outdoors rather than at home
- When they need to use machines and tools that do not exist in-home therapy.
- When endurance machines are needed, such as a treadmill, clinical Pilate’s machine, etc.
- When they want to build their self-confidence through their independence and autonomy outside the home.
- Organizing their treatment plan outside the walls of their home, helps them psychologically as they see it as a social event.
- People who are not so much affected by the fear of the external environment.
- When improving mobility is for you intertwined with a walk outside the home.
Always trust the specialist physiotherapist to suggest the best possible program for you and advise you on where it should be done.
What are the differences between physiotherapy at home and physiotherapy in the physiotherapy clinic?
Physiotherapy at home or in the physiotherapy clinic is not much different. There are some small differences but whether they are important ultimately has to do with how the intervention by the physiotherapist is applied.
Perhaps the only thing that lags behind the treatment at home is in cases of rehabilitation of sports injuries that the athlete needs a special case of rehabilitation with machines that cannot be moved.
Nevertheless, the effectiveness of a home intervention is always proportional to the clinical picture, the lesion, the age, the infrastructure that can support living, the support of the patient from the family environment, and the way he responds to treatment.
Here I will make a parenthesis to say about high-risk newborns, in which I specialize. We recommend that low birth weight infants, premature infants, and newborns who have just come out of the incubator be followed by home intervention and not in a physiotherapy clinic.
This is because, in the beginning, it would be good to avoid moving to other environments to avoid viruses at such a young age. But later it is much better to leave home and train in an organized space with many stimuli and performances that will share them in different and varied stimuli.
Physiotherapy is a versatile and very effective science regardless of where it may need to be applied. Besides, its application was initially, even from Ancient Greece, done at home. Of course, things are evolving and today there are specialized areas for every pathology and every need of the patient. Nevertheless, everything is about the need of each patient and the therapeutic goal.
Is Physiotherapy At Home Effective?
The effectiveness of the intervention has more to do with who implements it and how and much less with where.
The ingenuity, experience, and scientific training of the physiotherapist are the basis for a specialized and individualized intervention that will meet all the conditions to be targeted and effective.
Having said all that, the choice of where to choose has nothing to do with the quality and effectiveness of the intervention but with your need and temperament.
Is the price of physical therapy at home different from physiotherapy at the physiotherapy clinic?
The price of home physiotherapy is usually not much different from the treatment at the physiotherapy clinic. Nevertheless, the prices are determined by the specialization, the experience, and whether the physiotherapist is contracted with insurance to be reimbursed by the patient’s insurance fund.
Is physiotherapy at home covered by the funds?
Home treatment is partially covered by the funds and the price provided by the insurance fund to the patient maybe a little better than the treatment in the physiotherapy clinic.
In any case, the physiotherapist must be contracted with insurance to be able to cover your home treatment through your insurance.