The Physical Therapy and COVID-19

The year 2020 had a different plan for our world.  It affected everyone in different ways, uniting them while physically distancing them.  It is a new experience, one that is continuously testing people’s wills as well as their resilience and adaptability.  Humanity, in an effort to protect itself from a microorganism called COVID-19, has given up on simple things that in the past were taken for granted such as a hug or a handshake.  Instead concentrating on essential things like health and family.  Schools and many businesses have closed in the effort to combat this new threat however, people have adapted and found new ways to move forward through different online platforms.  Only time will determine what our world will look like once this pandemic pass.

What about physiotherapists? What is our role during this pandemic?  Do we have one?  How can we help our countries and colleagues on the front lines?  What can we do? Are we an essential part of the medical community that is confronting this global foe?  Many questions arise, these are only a few.  Many of our colleagues have dedicated themselves in caring for the very ill COVID-19 patients, working side by side with their medical comrades in the ICU.  Our forgotten colleagues are supporting the health care system and the ICU with their distinctive clinical skills.  Their dedication to their work must not go unacknowledged.

Many medical societies have made available different resources online to continue training the medical profession at this time.  The Society of Critical Care Medicine has an online chapter targeting the non-ICU clinicians as part of a backup plan to support the medical system from collapse.  As part of its own initiative, the Australian Physiotherapy Association has provided virtual training to its physiotherapists who have had previous experience in intensive care in order to combat this growing health crisis.  These are only a few examples of how the health care systems worldwide have adapted to the current situation and how the role of the physiotherapist in the current health crisis is vital.

Once the world begins to heal itself we will be faced with a new reality. Borders will start to reopen, economies will restart, people will be able to leave their homes, children will be able to go to school, families will enjoy picnics in the park, but what lessons will we take from what we have been through?   A lot of uncertainty remains but one thing is definite, our world will not be the same as it was in 2019.

Here at the Invasive Physical Therapy Journal we are continuing our research, focusing on improving our patients’ lives with new techniques, ready for them when we return to our clinics and hospitals, all the while keeping in mind the necessary precautions to protect them and ourselves from the virus that has become, and will continue to be, a part of our daily life.  We, like other health care professionals, treat patients that may cough or sneeze during a session which can cause respiratory droplets so keeping safe is vital. 

Minimal invasive therapy has been increasingly employed worldwide. There have been many studies published to support its effectiveness. Patients have improved using these invasive techniques. Our patients need us to restore their movement, to decrease musculoskeletal pain just so they can lead pain free lives. We will go back to work. The world will not stop, and neither will we.

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