While it’s difficult to make any guarantees in the midst of a pandemic, we’re cautiously optimistic that we’re getting close to being able to return to life as we once knew it before COVID-19 swept the globe. As this happens, we expect some industries like restaurants, recreational programs and movie theaters to see a big boom in attendance. We also believe physical therapists and their clinics are in for a large surge in patients post-pandemic. In today’s blog, we explain why physical therapists can likely expect a full caseload in the not-so-distant future, and what you should do if you expect physical therapy will be part of your future plans.
A Post-COVID PT Boom
There are a number of converging factors that we believe will lead to a post-pandemic surge in physical therapy appointments. Here’s a look at some of the factors.
- Postponed Elective Surgeries – Many people put off or had their scheduled elective surgeries canceled as COVID-19 numbers began to rise. There is now a backlog of patients waiting for an elective operation, and the vast majority of these people will need physical therapy. There will be a large influx of patients who finally got their artificial knee or hip and will need therapy to help adjust to the new joint.
- Sedentary Lifestyle Complications – The pandemic has forced a lot of people to become less active than they have in the past, and this activity limitation can take a toll on our bodies. Muscle groups weaken and we can gain weight, which puts more stress on certain areas. This can leave us at a higher risk for injury, and in turn lead to a visit with a physical therapist’s office.
- Trauma Season – In the therapy world, we’re currently in the midst of what they affectionately call “trauma season.” As the weather warms up, people begin to engage in some more high-risk activities. Some people bust out the motorcycles or ATVs, while others simply try to get outside to go for a spring walk and suffer a fall injury. From early 20s to high 90s, we see patients of all ages with a variety of injuries during the spring trauma season.
- Resuming Athletics – A number of high school, college and recreational athletes saw their seasons cancelled because of COVID, but now sports leagues are starting up again. There is always an uptick in clients based on the sports cycle, but now we’ll be seeing an influx of athletes try to jump back into athletics at full speed, and that can easily lead to injury if their body isn’t ready for the activities. It’s always important to slowly ease back into athletic activities, but that’s especially important this year. Start your training well before tryouts or your first practice so that your body has some time to get back in the swing of things, otherwise you may be visiting a PT in the near future.
- COVID Therapy – Finally, an unfortunate reality of the pandemic is that a number of people who caught the virus will have long-term complications from it. The condition has been shown to really affect the lungs, and if you’re now having difficulty breathing or a lung issue is complicating other aspects of your life, a physical therapist can help. We expect to see a small surge in patients who need assistance due to a COVID-19 complication.
If you need physical therapy, now is the time to schedule and get in the system. We want to take as many patients as we can while still providing a high level of service to each patient. To see if we can help you with your condition, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.