Welcome to the #LifeCantWait Blog, SPEAR Physical Therapy’s official stream for fitness tips, exercise advice, and healthy lifestyle inspiration. Our articles and features are written by our physical therapists and staff members with your progress in mind. Designed to educate and motivate, SPEAR’s #LifeCantWait Blog exists to share your stories and help you get back to life! Disclaimer
This week, our CEO and Co-founder, Dan Rootenberg, spoke heartfelt words to our entire team about the historic current events happening in the world around us, and SPEAR’s position against racism.
More importantly, he outlined the following action items:
On behalf of the company, (1) Dan has joined the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion; (2) SPEAR offered paid time off to our team members this week so they can take action in their own way: to protest, meditate, donate time to the movement, or any other way they may deem fit; and (3) SPEAR announced it is forming a Racial Justice committee to advise us on our path forward with regards to these critical issues.
To provide our entire community with SPEAR’s point of view and commitment, below is the original letter Dan sent to the SPEAR team on Tuesday:
We find ourselves in the midst of a pivotal moment in our history, one that has evoked strong feelings of understandable sadness, anxiety, and anger. We must not let this moment go unrecognized or unaddressed.
Our country has witnessed a deplorable act of racism and brutality. We speak out loudly against what has transpired. Our hearts ached watching the senseless murder of a gentleman named George Floyd at the hands of blatant police brutality in Minnesota.
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Emotions are raw and anger is justifiable.
At SPEAR, there is no place for racism of any kind. We do not tolerate discrimination, hatred, or violence in our workplace or in our society.
It is important for everyone at SPEAR to remember what our company stands for.
We stand in solidarity with the black community in fighting racial injustice and inequality.
We are a company that has always stood for inclusion and ascension, for striving to be better than we were yesterday, and most importantly valuing empathy for others regardless of race, color, religion, ethnicity, who they love or to whom they pray.
Since this is a day of action, SPEAR is committing to the following:
On behalf of our company, I will be signing a pledge called CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion. Our leadership team discussed this morning what it means and we will be pledging the following:
Reinforce that SPEAR is a trusting workplace where we can have complex sometimes difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion.
Implement unconscious bias education.
Share best practices (and what doesn’t work) with our sister companies that have taken the same pledge.
Create a vision for a strategic inclusion plan.
We are living in uncertain and unsettling times. We must stand up for what we believe in and support what is right.
I call for doing so with open hearts, open minds, and doing our part in the hope for change.
Ready to unwind and relax those muscles? Jessie Weinberg, PT, DPT, CSCS and the Director of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy will lead this routine, showing you how to stretch out tight muscles and ease tension in the body. Whether you’ve been exercising frequently or just sore from sitting too long, this “workout” may help to provide relief for aches and pains.
Watch The Video Below:
Make sure to join us every week for #MovementMonday, where we’ll post a live workout right on our Instagram page!
Missed a workout? Visit our Youtube channel for more exercises, workouts, and advice from your expert PTs and OTs!
With everyone stationed at home during these times, at-home workouts have seen a huge boom. While staying active is essential, maintaining a proper level of safety is just as important! Ninia Agustin, PT, DPT, and Clinical Director of our Times Square location, recently contributed to The Wall Street Journal, providing her expert advice on how to exercise at home safely.
Check out all of Ninia’s expert advice below:
General At-Home Workout Tips
Hit pause when you need to—go at your own pace!
Work out in front of a full length-mirror to monitor alignment
If you live with someone, ask them to police your technique
Wear supportive shoes, especially if you are new to exercise and doing any type of jumping activity that can strain the ankles
Clear your space of any clutter for safety
Consult with your doctor before doing any workout routines!
Beginners can start by performing push-ups against a wall, then progress to a table edge
Start in a plank position, with hands shoulder-width apart
Have a bit of a chin tuck to maintain neutral cervical alignment
Form a straight line with your body from the base of the neck to the tailbone
Keep your elbows at about a 45-degree angle to your body as you bend them and lower toward the ground
Keep the core engaged to prevent hips from sinking, and lower back strain
If you feel pain in your wrists, drop to your knees or shins; use padding if needed!
For Stationary Lunges:
Starting position: feet hip-width apart, hands on hips, and step your right foot forward
Keeping your spine tall and the weight in your heel, lower your body until both your front and back legs form 90-degree angles
Your front knee should be directly over your ankle and your back knee can tap or hover above the ground.
Rise up and repeat.
If you feel wobbly, you can lightly hold on to a chair or even put a hand to the wall to help with balance
For Forward Lunges:
Once you have mastered the stationary lunge you can move up to a forward lunge:
Step forward, lower and, as you rise, bring your front foot back to starting position
If your shoulders tip forward, your back muscles have to work harder to maintain the position— think about keeping your bones stacked over each other
Don’t let your front knee collapse inward—keep it over your second or third toe
Pelvis should stay in the same plane: make fists and put them on your hip bones to help you feel if your hip hikes up as you step back to the starting position
Did you know: 100% of Telehealth costs are now covered by most insurance companies!?
The stress of the Coronavirus has impacted everyone in a multitude of ways. One of the most pressing matters on many people’s minds is how to continue receiving physical & occupational therapy treatment in the midst of this chaotic storm. With the launch of our newest telehealth service, SPEAR LIVE, we’re able to reach more patients from the comfort of their own home. We wanted to introduce this convenient option in order to reach more people who need our continued help.
While Telehealth has provided an avenue for continued physical & occupational therapy treatment, insurance companies realized how challenging it is to stay healthy during the stay-at-home orders: the nation’s citizens are logistically and financially burdened, and with these barriers, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stay active.
To help combat this problem and help you continue your course of care, nearly all insurance companies have now decided to cover 100% of the costs of telehealth online physical & occupational therapy treatment!
This exciting new decision helps more insured patients receive the care they need, even if they are unable to travel to a clinic. With the accessibility of our in-home virtual appointments, it’s never been easier to stay active, build healthy habits, and upkeep the cadence of your physical & occupational therapy treatment.
Want clarity and confirmation on your insurance costs?
SPEAR LIVE works on any mobile device, including a tablet, laptop, and even a cell phone. If you’re able to video chat on your device, you’re able to use it with SPEAR LIVE! You don’t need to download any fancy equipment, either—we’ll send you over a link to access directly from your browser!
Now that the Coronavirus pandemic is keeping patients at home, telehealth physical & occupational therapy is in high demand. However, it is still an unknown service to many patients. Therefore, to help you understand what to expect with online, virtual therapy, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions about our telehealth physical & occupational therapy service, SPEAR LIVE. Watch and read below!
What is Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy?
What exactly is telehealth physical and occupational therapy?
Telehealth physical and occupational therapy is the use of electronic telecommunications technology to provide physical and occupational therapy services, instead of being performed in-person. Telehealth therapy utilizes online audio and video (very similar to FaceTime or Facebook Messenger, or any of the other video communications platforms available to the masses) to allow the patient and the therapist to be in separate locations and still conduct an appointment. Telehealth goes by many names and is often referred to as “online” or “virtual” therapy.
Will the telehealth visit be the same as an in-office visit?
Telehealth physical therapy visits will of course not include manual, hands-on treatment. The sessions are meant to fill in whatever gap you’re currently facing. Our Physical and Occupational Therapists are here as your resource! They are also typically around 30 minutes long. And, just like you’re used to, we will guide you through the exercises, give you new exercise progressions, or answer any questions you might have about your current issue (or any new issues)!
How will our sessions be as effective as in-clinic sessions?
We will structure the sessions however you’d like. I will make sure your home exercise program is updated and clear so you know what to do each day! These sessions have the potential to be even more effective than our in-person appointments by helping you independently manage your condition.
What are we going to do during the sessions?
We can do whatever you’d like during the session as we want it to be as meaningful as possible. We can go over home exercises, discuss modifications as you adjust to this new lifestyle, answer questions, progress exercises, and/or go over specific techniques.
What does the therapist do during the session?
Your therapist will base it off of what you prefer by asking you beforehand. Some patients are uncomfortable with the idea of a PT constantly watching them do the exercises. To make them feel more comfortable therapists do the exercises with them while providing cues. Other patients prefer that their therapist watch and provide concurrent feedback on their form.
How will I be able to still make progress in physical therapy without coming into the clinic?
You and your physical therapist will work together to come up with an integrated plan to manage your symptoms at home. The online sessions will be a means of communication about how you are doing so far and what else you can be doing to improve your symptoms during this time.
I don’t have much equipment or space at home, is that a problem?
Not a problem at all! You would be surprised how effective these sessions can be with little to no equipment. Your physical therapist will work with what you have in your home. We can get creative with household items and body-weight exercises to ensure the session is still challenging and progressing you towards your goals. Your PT can also provide links to purchase equipment if needed.
I’m worried I’ll disturb my neighbors and roommates…
Your therapist will let you know ahead of time what your treatment will be, so you can decide the best date and time to avoid disturbing neighbors. Many sessions will not require exercises or stretches that make any noise at all!
What Technology is Required for Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy?
What technology do I need for a SPEAR LIVE telehealth appointment?
We have intentionally made this the easiest process and technology possible! At the time of your appointment, you will simply receive an email with a link to click. Make sure you use Google Chrome or Firefox as the browser!
What devices are supported by SPEAR LIVE?
Any device that has a camera, internal microphone and can run the Google Chrome or Firefox browser will work! This includes virtually all smartphones, tablets and desktop or laptop computers
Do I have to download a new app on my computer? I’m nervous I won’t be able to figure it out!
No worries—getting started is easy! You won’t need to download anything—simply follow the link in the email we send you! The video and audio will automatically launch in your browser.
How Much Does Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy Cost?
Will telehealth physical therapy be half my copay since I am only there for 30 minutes?
Most sessions are about 30 minutes long, regardless of the condition to be treated, and most insurances are covering 100% of the costs of these sessions!
What will be my out-of-pocket costs be for online, telehealth physical therapy?
Most likely: $0, if you have insurance! Give us a call or fill out our appointment request form and we will confirm. If you pay with cash, the cost is $75. And even if your insurance does not pay 100% of the costs, your cost will be just the same as coming in for an in-person visit (for example, your copay/coinsurance).
Is telehealth physical and occupational therapy covered by my insurance?
Yes! In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, most insurance companies have agreed to cover 100% of the costs of online, virtual telehealth physical therapy! We can confirm your copay information prior to scheduling if you call or use our online form (insert numbers and links.
How Does Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy Work?
How do I schedule a SPEAR LIVE telehealth physical therapy appointment?
To get scheduled, you can request an appointment online, or give us a call at 646-518-5554. One of our Care Coordinators will be in touch to get you started!
Will SPEAR LIVE work for me?
The answer is most likely, “Yes!” Reach out to us with more information and we’ll be able to further assist you.
I am in a different time zone—can you accommodate my availability?
Reach out to us with your preferred date and time and we will work to accommodate you!
How long does a typical session last? Is the appointment length different depending on the type of session (e.g. initial evaluation versus a follow-up appointment; body part)?
Most sessions are about 30 mins regardless of condition to be treated.
I only have “x” number of visits in my calendar year plan, should I wait for in-person appointments?
Definitely keep your insurance benefits in mind to maximize the amount of sessions. We can decide the optimal frequency after evaluating you on your first telehealth session. The most important thing is setting you up so you continue to progress and build off of all of previous treatments.
How long will you be offering telehealth physical and occupational therapy?
As long as is needed! We want to make sure we can continue to provide physical therapy services until we are able to continue with in-person visits. And even after that, many patients appreciate being able to maintain treatment remotely for numerous reasons, including business or leisure travel.
Let this also be a reminder that our offices are still open should you wish to make an appointment in the clinic. We are going above and beyond CDC guidelines and ask that all in-clinic patients do the same!