Effects of Social Isolation during COVID-19 and How a Physical or Occupational Therapist Can Help

Apr 21

The human race is meant to be social.  We simply are wired that way.  During this time where entire cities are shut down and people are expected to stay at home, the negative effects of being socially isolated are not only widespread but more dramatic. “All our systems, including social, psychological and biological, have developed around social groups and interaction with one another,” says Dr. Zlatin Ivanov.  In a time where our parks, gyms, biking, running, and hiking trails have been closed there can be significant negative effects on our physical and mental health.

Effects of Social Isolation

Social isolation has been shown to be associated with increased depression, cognitive decline, heart troubles, and a weakened immune system.  During this time of social distancing due to COVID-19 there is no doubt higher levels of stress, poor sleep, and generally more unhealthy lifestyle habits.

How Physical and Occupational Therapy Can Help

Physical and Occupational Therapists are here to help.  While we are considered essential workers and our clinics remain open, we have had to adapt to the social distancing climate to meet the ongoing needs of our patients. We are now performing telehealth therapy to meet these needs.

What is Telehealth Therapy?

Telehealth therapy is physical or occupational therapy provided through a video conference format. It is a means to increase your access to quality care and therapy services when you cannot enter our clinics due to extenuating health and safety circumstances. Our therapists are able to perform an evaluation of your injury and limitations and develop a treatment plan tailored specifically to you! These sessions are one-on-one and give you individualized care and attention. We believe that one of the most powerful things a therapist can do is listen and observe their patients and may not involve physical contact. Telehealth therapy will keep you safe, while keeping you moving and improving your mental and physical health!

 

Written by Eric Krell, PT, DPT, MTC, Regional Vice President