People download apps to help with their finances, travel, relationships, fitness, and everything else in between. When an opportunity or ailment alike strikes, people seek a digitized solution to assist in its management, and for the most part, it’s good that they do. When it comes to physiotherapy, we encourage patients to learn as much as they can about their injury, condition, recovery, and prevention, as long as they stick to their prescribed plan. Today, we are recommending some top apps that will help you gain a better understanding of your body so that you can keep learning while developing good habits to assist in your overall physical health.
5 Physical Therapy Apps You Can Use to Complement Your Injury Rehabilitation and Prevention Plan
1. Muscle Trigger Points (Real Bodywork)
This well reviewed (5-stars) app provides users with a reference for trigger points and referral patterns for well over 100 muscles. Trigger points (also referred to as myofascial trigger points) are hyperirritable spots in the fascia surrounding skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers.
The application features a total of 160 trigger points along with their corresponding referral patterns. In addition, it addresses 80 physical conditions that can be caused by trigger points, along with 25 videos that show the user how to release specific muscles at home (or in the gym, etc.). For every muscle addressed, the user will find its visual referral pattern and point location, along with a written muscle action, referral, origin, insertion, nerve, and audio pronunciation for each. Those of you who pay close attention to detail can choose to view each muscle individually, where alternatively you can use the feature which allows you to view all of the muscles that refer into a specific area, and thus a specific condition (i.e. rotator cuff strain, etc.). Essentially, this app can help people discover or confirm a source of pain, and will help them better connect to the information provided them by their physiotherapist. (iTunes / Google Play)
2. GO for Patients (MedBridge Education LLC)
You know how it is. Your physiotherapist has provided you with an exercise regime to assist with your recovery at home (etc.) and at first, you follow it to the tee. But as the days progress, and distractions get in the way, the plan (and thus recovery) can fall to the wayside. This is where the GO for Patients app real helps. The app motivates you to keep up with the home exercise program that your PT has provided you with. It allows patients to set reminders, track overall progress, and view all of the Patient Education materials included by their own therapist. It includes 3D models, explanatory exercise videos, clinician notes, PDF guides, and more. (iTunes / Google Play)
3. Pain Therapy (Winzig)
This is a pretty straightforward but effective app for those of who want easy access to a wide variety of physical therapy exercise videos without having to comb through hours of garbage on YouTube. Pain Therapy: Physical Therapy Exercise Videos delivers over 40 (and counting) high-quality exercise and stretching demonstration videos, all of which are performed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy. The catalogue is organized by pain ailment, anatomy, and exercise equipment that may or may not be needed. There are videos that demonstrate stretching techniques and exercises that physiotherapists often prescribe to treat numerous pain-related and injury recovery issues, in addition to a decent collection of videos pertaining to pregnancy-related pain. (iTunes)
4. Physical Therapy for Kids (Preferred Mobile Applications LLC)
We’re big proponents of physiotherapy for kids, so we were happy to come across an app like this. Physical Therapy for Kids was developed by a yoga instructor and a Physical Therapist to deliver a fun, engaging, yet highly effective channel to get kids participating in therapeutic exercises. The app dives into concepts such as gross motor strength, balance, and coordination. It uses virtual flash cards, illustrations, and animation, calling upon kids to tap an image and watch the animation come to life. The cast of characters will have your child eagerly participating in up to 56 different exercises that have proven effective in strengthening (and empowering) youth. The app is appropriate to children aged 3-12. (iTunes)
5. Muscle & Bone Anatomy 3D (Real Bodywork)
We’re concluding this physiotherapy apps list with a highly informative application from Real Bodywork (also responsible for the Muscle Trigger Points recommendation above). This smartphone/tablet tool serves as a comprehensive reference for those of you who are interested in learning more about your own human musculo-skeletal system. It features five unique sections to learn about the body: VIEWER, ACTIONS, 3-D MODELS, QUIZZES, and MEDIA, section titles that are self-explanatory. This is an advanced app which conveys the future of digital health and wellness education, combining beautiful imagery, knowledge and interactivity, all while tapping into the full power of your iOS or Android. Better yet, after using this app a few times you’ll be able to surprise your physiotherapist by casually dropping tidbits like lumbar flexion and thoracic rotation into your conversations. (iTunes / Google Play)
Remember, mobile apps can only complement, and not replace, a physiotherapist prescribed regime. If you live in the Greater Vancouver area, simply use your smartphone to contact Absolute PhysioCare, before hitting the app store to achieve a superior level of physical fitness.