DIGITAL BACK PAIN CARE
Evidence-based back care programs. No prescription required.
Updated: Nov 9th, 2022
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In recent years, the availability of digital joint care options has significantly increased. These innovative programs, which are designed for ease of use and accessibility, have exciting potential.
PROS AND CONS
Digital joint care programs can offer a number of benefits compared to traditional methods of managing joint pain and conditions. Some of the potential advantages of these programs include: CONVENIENCE: Digital joint care programs are typically delivered via a smartphone app or online platform, which means that patients can access them from anywhere and at any time. This can be especially useful for individuals who may have difficulty attending in-person appointments or who live in remote areas. PERSONALIZED CARE: Digital joint care programs often include features such as personalized exercise plans and tracking tools, which can help patients manage their condition in a way that is tailored to their specific needs and goals. IMPROVED ACCESS: Digital joint care programs can help increase access to care for individuals who may not have access to specialized treatment for joint conditions, such as those living in rural areas or who do not have insurance. COST SAVINGS: In some cases, digital joint care programs may be more affordable than traditional forms of treatment, such as physical therapy or surgery. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who may not have insurance or who have limited financial resources. GROWING EVIDENCE: Many digital joint care programs are based on proven treatment approaches and may include educational materials and other resources to help patients better understand their condition and how to manage it. This can help patients feel more confident and empowered in their care.
While digital joint care programs can offer many benefits, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider. Some of the potential drawbacks of these programs include: LIMITED ACCESS TO CLINICIANS: Digital joint care programs typically do not provide direct access to medical professionals, such as doctors or physical therapists. While some programs may offer virtual consultations with healthcare providers, this may not be the same as in-person care. TECHNOLOGY DEPENDENCE: Digital joint care programs rely on technology, such as smartphones, internet access, and even hardware devices to deliver care. This means that patients who do not have access to these tools may not be able to participate in the program. NOT RIGHT FOR EVERYTHING: Digital joint care programs may not be suitable for all types of joint conditions or for individuals with more severe pain or mobility issues. In some cases, patients may require more intensive treatment, such as surgery, to manage their condition. POTENTIAL FOR PRIVACY CONCERNS: Digital joint care programs may collect sensitive personal and health information from patients. It is important for patients to understand how their information will be used and protected, and to carefully consider the potential risks to their privacy before participating in a digital joint care program.
The key value of these solutions is improving care access and helping you stay motivated. If you love technology, they are worth a hard look. May not be suitable for all clients or for all types of joint conditions.
PROGRAMS | EVIDENCE
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HOW IT WORKS
Joint Academy is an online program that offers a comprehensive approach to treating back and joint pain. The program combines exercise and physical therapy with education and support to help individuals alleviate their pain. The program is tailored to each individual's needs and goals, and includes a variety of exercises, stretches, and other techniques.
The program includes on-demand access to a licensed Physical Therapist who can provide support and guidance throughout the treatment process. This stands out in comparison to other digital joint care products.
Joint Academy lists 12 peer-reviewed published studies on their website, which is impressive. The studies consistently reported positive overall outcomes. One study we found particularly compelling compared face-to-face to digital delivery of an exercise program via Joint Academy. The sample size was quite large and the results showed both groups achieved clinically important pain reduction at 3 months.
We like it. Easy access to a clinician and good supporting evidence. Joint Academy appears to be an effective and convenient options for those looking to manage their back and joint pain.
Licensed Physical Therapist involved from day one
Simple. No hardware.
Group support and progress tracking
Strong evidence base
Does not track body movements like some other solutions
HOW THEY WORK
Digital joint pain programs are designed to help you manage and reduce your joint pain through a combination of therapeutic exercises, remote monitoring by healthcare professionals, and other tools and resources. These programs typically use a combination of wearable technology, such as sensors or smart devices, and a digital platform to provide personalized exercise plans and track your progress.
WHY ALL TOGETHER?
It may seem odd to group these companies together, but it honestly doesn't matter which one you prefer. Your employer will only offer one of these options as a covered benefit, and it is not currently possible to pay for them out-of-pocket.
With that in mind, we have decided to review digital joint programs in general to help you decide if you are interested. If you are, we can do our best to determine if you are covered and provide you with access to the appropriate digital program.
You can also call your HR department or inquire on the company's websites:
This is difficult to answer considering each product and company has a varying level of clinical trials and peer-reviewed research completed. Overall, it ranges from fair to strong supporting evidence. If you do an employer digital program search, and a match is found, we will send you a short review of the evidence for that particular offering.
Digital joint care programs can be a useful tool for managing joint pain and improving function. Users need to be comfortable with technology. The effectiveness of these programs may vary depending on the individual and their specific needs.
Convenience and personalization
Tracking and Support
Usually no out-of-pocket costs (if covered by employer)
We'll admit - the hardware is cool
Growing evidence base
Hardware (when involved) can add complexity
May not have access to a licensed clinician
Can be challenging to access