The iPad is truly an amazing and powerful device that can really be helpful when using specifically designed apps for physical therapy. Below are 7 iPad apps that I use everyday and find really useful in the clinical setting. These aren’t designed just for physical therapy, and can be helpful for many rehabilitation, fitness, and manual therapy specialties.
Clicking any of the titles below will take you to the iTunes app store for more information.
VisibleBody’s muscle anatomy app is really impressive. The detailes of each muscle look great on the iPad, however the ability to rotate, title, shift and move in any direction to look at the anatomy from any angle is priceless. This is probably my favorite anatomy app at the moment. You can also selectively remove muscles and fade muscles to get a sense of depth and how different muscles are positioned. Here is a video demo of the app:
I used PocketBody for a long time before I found VisibleBody. PocketBody is another great anatomy app. Unlike VisibleBody, you can not freely zoom, rotate, and pan around the body to see the anatomy from any angle. However, PocketBody excels at showing you the depth of anatomy, taking back layer by layer to see how each interacts. This app really reminds me of the old Primal Pictures anatomy DVDs that were so popular in the past.
If you have to pick one, I would go with the VisibleBody Muscular Anatomy app above, however, I use both routinely together as the features of each really compliment one another.
Muscle Trigger Points is an anatomy app that discusses trigger points in detail. You can select any muscle you would like and see a detailed explanation and photo of common trigger points and referral patterns. I’ve found the app to be pretty accurate and a valuable resource to help find and treat trigger points, if that is your thing.
I had a hard time finding a video clip demo of this app for some reason. Here is a screenshot from my iPad. I’ll try to embed a demo video below too but at the time of publishing this was giving me a glitch:
iOrtho+ is a comprehensive resource of over 200 orthopedic special tests and 88 joint mobilization techniques. There are a good amount of references available with links to journal abstracts to define the efficacy of each procedure, which is a nice touch. The main limitation of this app is the lack of video, however the techniques are clearly shown in well designed photos with force vector arrows added for clarity.
CORE, which stands for Clinical Orthopedic Exam, is another app with demonstrations of clinical tests. Like iOrtho+ above, there are over 200 tests available with numerous references and links to view the abstract or entire article. I feel like CORE has more references that iOrtho+ in my testing, but the biggest advantage CORE has is that there are actual video demonstrations of the techniques, not just still photos. However, iOrtho+ has both special tests and treatment techniques in one app. CORE is designed specifically for special tests with addition apps for manual techniques (see below).
Mobile OMT, or Mobile Orthopedic Manipulative Therapy, is an app by the makers of CORE above. The Mobile OMT app has a ton of high quality videos of mobilization and manipulative techniques. I thought the videos were easy to follow with nice descriptions of each test. There are three seperate apps for the spine, lower extremity, and upper extremity.
Kinesiocapture is an extremely powerful video capture and analysis app. For those that have used Dartfish on their computers, this is a similar piece of software that offers way more convenience by being able to record video, analyze, and review right on your iPad. The app has lots of useful tools to measure angles, apply posture grids, overlay video, and watch two videos side by side.
There are a ton of great uses for Kinesiocapture. In the fitness, performance, and biomechanical fields, the ability to assess sport performance is top notch. For the rehabilitation specialist, you can measure angles, show changes over time or post-treatment, analyze posture, and assess movement quality.
Here is a screenshot from a couple of clips I shot measure hip ROM bilaterally, followed by a demo video of some sport performance applications:
I should note that my FAVORITE iPad app is actually Dropbox as I can basically work with all my files from all my computers right on my laptop. That isn’t really a physical therapy iPad app but worth mentioning! Get 2.25 GB free space on dropbox by clicking here. I will have to do a webinar for my Inner Circle members on how I use Dropbox one day!
I’m sure there are plenty more iPad apps for physical therapy that I never seen, there are so many! What other iPad apps have you tried and recommend?