Joint disorders and low back pain consistently rate among the most common reasons U.S. adults visit their doctors. Physical therapy is an effective treatment for these conditions, but many patients are not able to access the care they need.
Demand for physical therapists has long outpaced supply, a trend that is only projected to continue. The shortage is especially acute in rural areas. Insurance coverage of physical therapy varies widely—many plans have high co-pays and strict limits on the number of visits covered for it—or will not cover it at all. A growing number of physical therapists do not even take insurance.

One solution experts say could bridge this gap is telehealth, or the use of technology to provide remote care.

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