‘People were able to dive right into it’: Physical therapy patients switch to video visits

SALEM, Va. – To help with social distancing, health care providers are capitalizing on video visits, bringing relief and smiles to patients.

Lucas Therapies in Salem uses an online video program called Telehealth, where patients can be instructed through their regular therapy routines over video.

Lauren Saville is receiving therapy following surgery for a torn ACL and meniscus. Normally she would be seen in person, but circumstances don’t allow for that.

“So my husband was potentially exposed to the virus,” said Saville. “So obviously I don’t want to expose anyone else.”

That makes Telehealth her key to health because video makes all the difference.

“She could tell me that over the phone… and what exercises I think I’m doing correctly, I could be doing totally incorrectly,” said Saville.

Wendy Lucas is the owner of Lucas Therapies. She said they’ve had Telehealth for about a year and a half. In the past, they used it about once a month. Now, Lucas said they use it close to eight times a day.

“We were lucky that we started early,” said Lucas. “So that we had everything in place so that when this epidemic came about, people were able to dive right into it.”

It’s a technology that aids in physical healing while cultivating an emotional connection.

“A child that I had seen 20-some years ago who is bedridden and cannot get out and hardly sees anyone and once I realized I recognized the mom, I was able to turn the camera and see the little boy and his eyes lit up; my eyes lit up. I hadn’t seen him in years. It was a treasure to see how well he was doing and that he was still with us," Lucas said.

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