Physical therapy apps for patients have certainly come a long way. Gone are the days when physical therapists had to simply hope their patients would remember which exercises to do at home and how to do them in order to support their rehabilitation.
One of the best things about technology, is its use in healthcare. And that includes affordable and accessible physical therapy apps for patients to use with their therapy – they’re part of the bright future of the physical therapy profession.
Determining the best apps for physical therapists is based on the needs of that therapist and their patients. Everyone is different, and the app store is overflowing with every kind of app from those that help patients understand their injury and to apps that help patients keep up with their exercise routines at home.
To help you out, we’ve narrowed down this list to the Top 20 best physical therapy apps for patients!
Download our guide to the best physical therapy apps!
Physical Therapy Apps for Patients: Anatomy and Injury Insights
Many patients want to know exactly what’s wrong with them so they can better understand their treatment plan and how physical therapy can benefit them. The following physical therapy apps provide patients with a detailed visual overview of their anatomy and what their injury looks like. This increases a patient’s engagement with their recovery program and improves retention and execution of their exercises.
1. Shoulder Decide, Knee Decide, and Spine Decide
These three iOS apps, created by Orca Health, are educational tools that physical therapists can use to explain medical conditions in simple terms to their patients.
They provide interactive anatomical 3D models, as well as videos and images that show common injuries to the shoulder, knee, and spine. They also contain a number of stretching and strengthening videos that patients can refer to when doing their exercises at home.
Each physical therapy app has a free option, as well as a paid subscription option that provides access to all content.
This award-winning app, developed by eMedia, provides a highly accurate, interactive overview of the anatomy of the human body.
Users can zoom into a specific area of the body to view the various layers such as skin and connective tissue. They can also view the skeletal, lymphatic, circulatory, and nervous system. This makes it easy to give patients a full understanding of how their injury is affecting their health.
Additionally, users can search by terms and names, and the intuitive interface will start searching the database after only the first letter. Pocket Anatomy is available for the iPhone and iPad and costs $14.99.
This physical therapy app, developed by Real Bodywork, provides a detailed, 3D anatomical overview of the body’s different layers of muscle, as well as the skeletal system.
Users can rotate the body to slowly strip away the layers, highlighting information about the muscles. And touching this information pulls up a more detailed description, as well as a larger image of the muscle and even an audio feature so you can hear its name pronounced correctly. In addition, there’s a basic series of short videos that provide a general overview of anatomical areas.
The app is available for $4.99 for iOS, Android, as well as for Windows 10.
This free app offers the ability to instantly review and analyze any video. Additionally, you can calculate the angles between lines, making it easy to see room for improvement.
This app also allows you to draw or write notes, review in slow motion in forward, reverse, or frame-by-frame.
Physical Therapy Exercise Apps for Home Rehabilitation
For literally decades, patients who had a home exercise program as a part of their treatment plan had to rely on written and/or illustrated instructions on paper. Fortunately, with smartphones, tablets, and laptops, all of that is history.
The following physical therapy exercise apps are extremely useful tools for patients to do the “homework” that’s so critical to their recovery. And they can help you with your homework when you attend a top physical therapy school.
5. PT Pal Pro
This app offers an easy yet practical way for physical therapists to ensure their patients do their exercises—and do them well.
You can send the exercise list directly to your patient’s phone, allowing your client to see what exercises he or she has to do for flexibility, strength, and stability, with both illustrated and video instructions. The app reminds the patient when to do the exercises, counts the repetitions out loud, and monitors the patient’s progress so you can review it even when the patient isn’t at your clinic.
This free app is available for both iOS and Android.
This app, developed by Winzing, is perfect for patients who need constant guidance with their home exercises.It contains a library of exercise and stretching videos—all performed by a physical therapist—to help manage and reduce pain.
An Internet connection is needed the first time the patient plays each video. After that, it’s stored on the device and can be played at his or her convenience. All videos are transcribed for people with hearing disabilities. The app is available in a number of languages including Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
It’s available for the iPhone and iPad and costs $0.99.
What sets this app apart from other physical therapy patient apps is that all of the exercises have been selected based on the benefit they can provide to the general population and how frequently they’re prescribed in clinical practice.
All of the content is constructed by highly experienced physical therapists, with more than 500 exercises with 800 images provided, including detailed instructions on how to perform the exercises correctly.
You can send a custom rehabilitation program to your patient’s device. Plus, the helpful reminder feature makes sure your patient never forgets to exercise.
Physioadvisor costs $2.99 and is available both for iOS and Android.
Developed by BlueJay Mobile-Health, Inc., this app allows you to send exercise programs and updates to your patients’ devices.
It shows images of the exercises, along with the number of sets and repetitions, as well as how long they need to hold each position. In addition to tracking patients’ progress, it also allows them to chat with you if they have questions or concerns.
The app is free, and it’s available for both iOS and Android.
While this app, developed by Whitelake Interactive, is advertised as a DIY rehabilitation app, it’s actually a great app to recommend to your patients.
Its library of exercises contains high-quality images and videos that can be used as references for home exercise programs. In addition, the app contains detailed information about symptoms, diagnosis, first-aid, and follow-up care.
myRehab is available for iOS, Android, and Web and costs $3.99.
Developer Qi Analytics LLC takes home rehabilitation routines to the next level.
You can share exercises with your patients by email, Facebook, or Twitter, as well as by pasting a text code.
To start a series of new exercises, you can input notes and images as a description. The app lets the patient know what exercises are due by showing a red badge, and it keeps time, counts repetitions and sets, and tracks progress. Once the patient is familiar with the exercises, he or she can simply listen to music and let the app provide verbal cues.
PT Timer is available for iPhone and iPad and costs $2.99.
11. Rehab TherX
Design a personalized exercise program for your clients or patients on the go.
This app allows you to choose from over 300+ illustrated exercises that are categorized by body region and movement type. By using multiple filters, you will find the exercise you are looking for in seconds. Then, you just select the desired exercise and tailor the parameters (sets, repetitions, hold time, and frequency).
Upon completion of the exercise program, you have the option to print and/or email the program straight from your mobile tablet.
Rehab TherX is available for iPhone and iPad and costs $14.99.
This app provides fast and easy home exercise prescriptions with custom video, photos, and instructions, plus at-a-glance feedback and results.
It works in conjunction with the Wellpepper client engagement platform and serves to increase compliance with home exercise programs with motivating reminders, custom instructions, results tracking, and even a chat feature.
This app is free, but requires iOS 8.1 or later and is only compatible with iPad.
Created by a physical therapist and a yoga instructor and developed by Preferred Mobile Applications, LLC, this app is a brilliant aid for your younger patients. It includes 56 exercises specifically developed for children ages three to 12.
All exercises show hand-drawn illustrations and animations with accompanying English narration and text.
It’s available for iPhone and iPad and costs $6.99.
Physical Therapy Apps for Staff and Students
While these apps for physical therapy are geared towards the professionals, anything that can better help PTs perform their jobs ultimately serves the patient. These apps may not be used directly with a patient, but they will help you to provide top care for them, helping you get hired for the highest paying physical therapy jobs.
14. Muscle Premium
If you are interested in learning about how the body moves, then this is the app for you! Hundreds of animated models show adduction, pronation, flexion, and much more–and you can interact with them in motion.
Want to know how to pronounce a ligament’s name? Want to know how a muscle is innervated? Access detailed definitions for all structures, including details on origins and insertions, muscle actions, blood supply, and innervation. Not to mention, there’s audio pronunciations and Latin names, plus over 400 quiz questions to test your knowledge.
It’s available for iPhone and iPad and costs $19.99.
CORE is your portable, expert reference tool for diagnosing musculoskeletal and orthopedic disorders. It’s also a great app for demonstrating your knowledge and improving your Physical Therapist resume.
The Clinical Orthopedic Exam offers you a robust database of over 400 clinical tests with descriptions on how to perform them, video demonstrations, diagnostic properties, and links to supporting medical references. For every test, data is presented regarding the sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratio, accuracy, and other relevant statistical tests based on primary literature references.
It’s available for iPhone and iPad and costs $39.99.
A Goniometer is a device that measures angles or allows an object to rotate to a specific position. One of its most common uses is measuring a patient’s range-of-motion (ROM) for a particular joint. This measurement is used to determine the extent of a patient’s joint injury and the expected speed of their recovery.
It’s available for iPhone and iPad and costs $4.99.
We especially love this free app for its ability to customize and label timers for simultaneous use. Stopwatch & Timer turns your iPhone/iPod touch or iPad into a precise stopwatch that can run up to five times at once.
This can come in handy for anyone performing timed outcome exercises.
iOrtho+® is the #1 mobile guide for orthopedic special tests and manual techniques. This app is developed from advanced, evidence-based knowledge and extensive clinical practice.
Touch one of the 8 major joints and spine areas on the skeleton to then drill down to the sub-categories (organized by tissues) of individual tests and techniques. In an instant, you will have high-quality images and full video with concise descriptions for study or clinical practice.
It’s available for iPhone and iPad and it is free.
19. Medical Spanish
Medical Spanish is an inexpensive app that helps translate for Spanish speaking patients. The #1 selling Medical Spanish phrasebook is now better than ever with audio, search, conjugation, bookmarking, and unsurpassed functionality.
Feel good purchasing this app knowing profits from your purchase are reinvested into local free health clinics and to medical relief efforts in Haiti.
Ensuring nothing but the highest quality translations, professional interpreters have triple reviewed the content for accuracy and fluency, and the audio was recorded in a Mac studio.
Medical Spanish is available for iPhone and iPad and it is $5.99.
ICD10 Consult puts the most searchable, complete, current ICD10-CM resource at your fingertips.
With a flexible search feature that speaks your language, a deep understanding of the codes, instant ICD9 to ICD10 conversion and more, you’ll never have to flip through a 30-pound book or go hunting for a coding reference page again.
As the name suggests, this app is free! It is available for iPhone and iPad.
As a physical therapist, providing the best care for your patients includes a variety of techniques, including mobile apps. By using one or more of these physical therapy apps for patients, you can facilitate the self-care aspect of their rehabilitation programs. This, in turn, enhances their chances of a speedy and complete recovery.
When choosing the best physical therapy patient apps, remember this:
- Your favorite app might not be the best one for an individual patient. Be open to using multiple apps and choose from them on a case-by-case basis.
- Pick the category that will best serve your needs and those of your patient. Is it patient education or actual clinical tools that can make the biggest impact?
- Find the physical therapy exercise apps you know patients will actually use. Ask for feedback when you need it!
Note: Recommendations within this article are intended as suggestions and not as medical advice. Please seek the advice of your healthcare provider before using any of these products. MAS is in no way affiliated with any of these products.
➡ Do you know of other physical therapy apps for patients to add to this list?
Share with us in the comments below!
Download our guide to the best physical therapy apps!