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One good thing that happened in the wake of the COVID pandemic and quarantine is the increased availability of telehealth services. Telehealth Physical Therapy or Virtual Physical Therapy Visits are a great way to maximize your time and access to specialized therapists who can help you reach your goals.


Can Physical Therapy really be done by telehealth?

  • The job of a physical therapist is to take your description of your symptoms, obtain a thorough history, and analyze how you move, to develop a plan to help you progress toward your goals. In rare cases, hands-on assessment is needed for safety. However, in most cases, the therapist can develop a comprehensive plan based on a online video evaluation.

What conditions can you treat online?

  • We specialize in treating older adults and those with neurological conditions that impact their movement in everyday life. Often these patients are dealing with hip or knee arthritis, Parkinson's Disease, Stroke, or have multiple medical conditions that are causing them to be weaker and more likely to fall.

Is Telehealth Physical Therapy covered by insurance?

  • Short answer: It Depends

  • Longer answer: Here with Move Free Physical Therapy, we are only in network with traditional Medicare part B which does cover telehealth Physical Therapy services, due to the Public Health Emergency. Other insurance companies have their own regulations, but we always have a

  • If this is important to you, ask your senator to support H.R.4040 which will extend Telehealth Coverage for Medicare through the end of 2024


Why should I choose telehealth over an office visit?

  • If there is a weeks-long wait to see a local therapist in office. Telehealth providers often have same or next-day availability

  • If you live far from a physical therapist specializing in your condition. Telehealth providers can see anyone in a state they are licensed in. At Move Free PT at Home, we can treat patients all over North Carolina

  • If you have difficulties with transportation. As long as you have a stable internet connection, and a device that can make video calls, a telehealth provider can see you where you are.

  • If you have a tight schedule. If you are a caregiver for others, have your own business, or just are chronically busy, you will save travel time and sometimes shorter telehealth sessions are just as effective as longer in office visits since you will have your therapist's full attention.


When do I need to see a physical therapist in person?

  • In our practice, we do not see patients via telehealth who cannot stand safely without the physical assistance of another person due to safety concerns. If these patients are located in our mobile therapist's radius, we will see them in-home, otherwise we can refer them to other local practitioners.

How can I get on the schedule?

  • Call: Give us a call at 919-886-4163. If you reach our voicemail, please leave us a message and we will return your call between patients.

  • Book a free consult: Click here and schedule a free phone consultation. During this consult we can help determine if telehealth is right for you, answer any insurance related questions, and schedule your appointment.

  • Email us: If you have questions, you want answered before you chat with us, send us an email at movefreeptnc@gmail.com .


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Updated: Nov 4, 2022


Research has shown exercise is the best medicine. It can offset age related cellular damage, improve cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and general mobility. Essentially slowing the aging process.


How aging affects the average body:

  • Our skeletal muscles have decreased aerobic capacity due to circulatory changes.

  • We lose about 40% of our muscle mass by age 80 due to a variety of factors including inflammatory stress, physical inactivity, and changes in our hormone levels.

  • With the decreased muscular output, any comorbidities increases the risk for frailty dramatically.

Why does this happen?

Our cells are exposed to damaging effects of inflammation and oxidative stress throughout our lives. This damage (along with other environmental and genetic factors) influences how your body loses muscle mass and bone density, gains fat, and metabolism changes.


Do YOU want to age like the “average” person?


Thankfully, we can change one of the most influential causes of cellular stress and aging.


What is that cause? It's our typically sedentary lifestyle! Regular physical activity helps counteract this and has been shown to be excellent in helping people "age successfully", that is, maintenance of functional independence as long as possible.


How Exercise Helps:


  • Regular aerobic exercise (brisk walking) has been shown to improve aerobic capacity and endurance. It also is known to decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease, and even decrease pain!

  • Resistance exercise may be even more powerful! Resistance training (using weights, bands, or even body weight resistance) is an excellent way to improve muscle mass at all stages of life, even the frail elderly! Increasing leg strength is a major factor in decreasing risk for falls and maintaining independent mobility.

  • Physical exercise is also vital for preventing and slowing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This is because it helps regulate the oxidative stress, helps build new neural connections, and helps remove toxic buildup in the brain.

  • Exercise also works at a cellular level to protect your DNA, maintain protein homeostasis to allow appropriate enzyme function, improve hormone levels and insulin sensitivity.


So How can I get Started?

The best place to start is by working toward meeting the national guidelines for physical activity in aging adults. These guidelines recommend:

  • 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity per week

  • Perform resistance training of most of the major muscle groups 2 days/week

  • Balance and flexibility exercises 3 days/week

If you currently don’t exercise, these recommendations seem like a lot, but some exercise is always better than none, and as little as 10 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week can start you on the right track.


What if I need help?

If you have specific mobility concerns, are fearful of falling, have pain with activity, or just want some personalized guidance, we can help! Send us an email at movefreeptnc@gmail.com or give us a call at 919-886-4163 to chat with our Physical Therapist, Dr. Tomkoski. We’d love to help you start on your journey toward successful aging!


Resources:

Exercise Attenuates the Major Hallmarks of Aging - PMC (nih.gov)

Physical Activity and Function in Older Age: It’s Never too Late to Start! (acsm.org)

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Updated: Aug 9, 2022




Exciting News! Our Brand-New Group Exercise Class is just around the corner!


You probably have heard that exercise is essential with Parkinson's Disease, but sometimes it's hard to know what to do.


Our class, taught by our very own Dr. Jessica, PT will use evidence-based techniques such as high intensity, large amplitude training to work on maintaining and improving your balance, strength, and functional mobility.


Are you interested? Fill out the form at this link, and we will be in touch.


Here are the details:


  • Where : Fit Lab Studios Durham, 2500 Meridian Parkway, Suite 180, Durham, NC 27713

  • When : Thursdays at 2PM

  • How much: Classes are $120 for the 4 week session, or $20/class at a drop in rate.

  • How to sign up: Fill out the interest form at this link, and Dr. Jessica will be in touch to get you registered.

  • More information: Check out this webpage with more information


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