Dr. Jennifer Kinder is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology and the Kinesiology Program Director at Notre Dame de Namur University. She is also a pelvic health physical therapist and owner of Rehab Fitness & Wellness where she primarily treats pregnancy, postpartum, and female athletes struggling with pelvic health dysfunctions. Her research focuses on pelvic health dysfunction, postpartum care, female athletes, and telerehabilitation. When she is not in the classroom or in clinic she enjoys dance and being outdoors with her husband and 2 boys.
You’ve may heard of telemedicine and telehealth, providing medical care remotely, but have you heard about telerehabiliation?
Telerehabilitation, or TR for short, is an emerging concept that can help patients who can’t leave their house. In telerehabilitation, a physical therapist can utilize video technology to provide treatment to patients.
The practice of TR could alleviate the access issue facing many patients with pelvic health conditions. In particular, women who are postpartum- at any age, an undertreated population who often experience musculoskeletal and neuromuscular dysfunctions; and often lack childcare or the means to leave home for treatment.
Our research explores physical therapy (PT) TR pelvic health treatment, specifically focusing on behavioral and lifestyle modification, cueing, and exercise progression.
Utilizing real time sessions, not the pre-programed videos most TR studies use, we found that we could provide good care during TR sessions. Our research highlights a variety of important aspects of physical therapy, including direct access, wellness, and postpartum and male pelvic health physical therapy using TR.
The use of TR spans beyond those who can’t leave the house. It can also provide treatment to anyone within the parameters of a provider’s physical therapy license. And down the road, it could even cross international lines. As you can imagine, there are women in many countries where they don’t have adequate access to care, given that there are literally no pelvic health PTs available to them. We can change this.
Just as technology has enhanced the way we travel, it has now enhanced the way we care for one another. Healing can sometimes happen regardless of the location of the provider and the client. TR is an enormous opportunity we should harness to literally and virtually help postpartum mothers in need.