Physical therapists, or physiotherapists as they are known in the UK, have a vital role to play in helping people affected by injury, illness or disability to manage pain, promote movement and prevent disease. Or, if you’re like me, you get assigned physical therapy exercises to help rehab your broken leg.
The very nature of physiotherapy jobs is very physical; practitioners work one on one with people to deal with their specific issues and complaints. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for technology that can help in the healing and rehabilitation process. Broadly, these types of apps will fall into three categories.
The first is patient education; where once a professional might rely on printed physiotherapy leaflets or perhaps refer to models, there are now physical therapy apps designed to guide people through the process they are undertaking.
Physical Therapy Apps
These physical therapy apps are intended for education or reference, often anatomical maps, and the last is clinical tools which can guide a practitioner in measuring range of motion or coding. Here are a few good examples available for use on the iPad.
This offers interactive anatomical models, videos and 3D animations and videos to explain a patient’s injuries or rehabilitation plan in a way they can understand. This one is offered free and there’s also a bank of exercises to use.
This app also ramps up the 3D and allows you to control and view a model of the body so you can explain injury anatomy. There are also some nice quizzes and videos if your patient would like to learn more.
This is a great choice for student physios as it is incredibly in-depth, allowing you to peel away layers of muscles to investigate function and position.
This app is a very handy tool, allowing you to quickly and accurately measure a patient’s range of motion at any particular joint.
If you find you’re wasting time looking up or memorising ICD-10 codes, this free and user-friendly download lets you search the entire code set, and review sections or instructions.
This is a comprehensive database of over 200 orthopaedic tests and 88 techniques for joint mobilisation. It also links to journal abstracts to help you understand the efficacy of each procedure. The only issue with this is the lack of video but the photos used are well designed and labelled.