an elderly patient in physical therapy is holding a small colorful ball

Trends That Are Rocking Physical Therapy Practices in 2020

Physical therapy is essential in patient rehabilitation and successful post-acute care recovery rates. With healthcare and patient recovery top-of-mind during our current COVID-19 health crisis, physical therapy for patients is vital to a successful recovery. 

Shifts in healthcare have impacted providers to consider possibly shutting down facilities to widely adopting telehealth services. Over the past 10 years, changes in technology have benefitted physical therapy practices as well. While traditional therapy methods continue to be the backbone of PT and skilled nursing care, advancements in therapy techniques are a reality. 

Here are some different trends in physical therapy for a successful patient recovery.

Aquatic Therapy 

The low impact, gravity-defying effects of aquatic therapy provide resistance and makes it uniquely helpful to several types of patients. It is particularly beneficial to patients with joint pain, extreme obesity, or other mobility-limiting factors.


People suffering from limited mobility or recent injury may not be physically able to drive to their local clinic for an appointment. Fortunately, telemedicine is becoming more popular in the field of physical therapy. In turn, helping to relieve painful and dangerous complications or reinjury.

Gaming Apps for Patients and Therapists

Gaming apps are now being incorporated into physical therapy processes to make the experience less stressful and more fun. The entertainment value helps to stimulate patient recovery and motivate toward improvement. Nintendo Wii games are a great way for patients to interact. Apps like PT Timer and PT Pal help patients stay on track with treatment plans.

Patient Safety

An overall trend in healthcare is a focus on patient safety. Skilled physical therapists in post-acute care, and all over, have always been aware of the importance of patient safety. However, most concerns are typically centered around musculoskeletal overexertion and avoiding injury. Infection and disease control, though important, were not the focus of rehab therapists’ safety concerns. But with health and safety concerns on the rise, even physical therapy care is stepping up to keep patients safe with protective gear and enhanced sanitations.

Patient Facing Technology is In Demand

Providing great care and positive outcomes remains a crucial goal of any successful post-acute physical therapy practice. However, we know this trend isn’t enough on its own. Providing a great patient experience is crucial to any skilled care facility.  Trends in patient-facing technology come in the form of new equipment like state of the art treadmills and other tech-laden products. At the same time, patients have been getting into tech on their end such as wearables.

Patient experience covers every interaction the patient has with your facility from finding or being referred to you, to your website, to the first phone call, to the care, discharge, and beyond.

South Coast Post Acute Physical Therapy Care

Nowadays, all PTs are practiced disease control experts, and at South Coast Post Acute we aim to keep it that way. We’ve made upgrades to our health and safety measures by going to extreme lengths to keep our patients safe. From donning personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfecting every surface in the clinic to installing partitions or barriers in shared spaces. 

At South Coast Post Acute, we remain diligent to keep patients at the center of all care that we provide. We use leading technology for physical therapy rehabilitation as well as patient-facing technology with email communications for a streamlined experience. 

As a premier post-acute care center in Santa Ana, CA, we have a strong commitment to our work and a dedicated spirit of caring within our skilled nursing care community. We believe that along with rehabilitation therapy, education on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle leads to a successful recovery. In a time where health concerns are at an all-time high, our knowledge of medicine and tools can make a difference. 
Exceptional, compassionate care; every time, every touch. Contact us today!

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