Dear Dr. Yael

Dr. Yael Respler

November 6, 2020

The Jewish Press

Dear Dr. Yael,

I am struggling with my physical health. I have a lot of pain because of my medical issues and nothing seems to help. I tried working with a personal trainer who came to my apartment, but he wasn’t very knowledgeable about my medical conditions. My doctor suggested that I try physical therapy. However, the clinic he told me to use is very busy. The physical therapists there treat so many people at once that I get no attention. With COVID-19, I’m also extra nervous being around so many people because of my pre-existing conditions. Should I stick with the physical therapy despite my worries? What do you think I should do? 

- A Reader

Dear Reader,

I truly understand your concerns. The world is a very different place right now. You have every right to be apprehensive about being treated in public settings. I’m not sure what your medical conditions are, but it seems as though going to a crowded physical therapy clinic is not ideal for you. However, your health is very important and your current medical conditions should be treated appropriately.

I personally have an amazing physical therapist who comes to my home. I feel very safe in the comfort of my own den and the individual attention has been extremely beneficial to my well-being. I highly recommend this course of treatment for you. Firstly, you cannot compare the level of training and schooling of a physical therapist to that of a personal trainer. My physical therapist has a doctorate degree and many years of experience. As a health professional, he understands my medical needs. He provides me with a comprehensive recovery plan that he adjusts at every visit depending on my progress.

In addition, all his equipment is sanitized, or one-time-use, and he always wears appropriate PPE. As I mentioned before, the individual attention is the best part. At most clinics that I’ve visited in the past, therapists have spent just a few minutes with me before leaving me alone for the remainder of the session. I have often felt ignored and uneasy about performing therapy exercises on my own. With my current physical therapist, I get an entire session with his full attention and my recovery has been faster as a result. I was also referred to a few clinics, but always felt that they did not give me the attention I needed to recover.

If you would like to contact my physical therapist, here is his information: Dr. Zvi Gutman, DPT. (646) 481-7854 . (Accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance. No additional fee for the home visit.)

From a psychological point of view, have you ever tried psychological techniques to reduce your pain? Research has shown that because pain includes both the mind and the body, mind-body therapies may have the ability to reduce pain by altering the way you perceive it.

- Dr. Yael

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