Best iPad Apps for Physical Therapy

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 – 3D Muscular Premium Anatomy

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:

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PocketBody

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

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:

Trigger Points App

iOrtho+

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 – Clinical Orthopedic Exam

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).

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Mobile OMT

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.

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Kinesiocapture

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:

Top iPad apps for physical therapy

 

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Bonus!  Dropbox!

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?

 

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19 Responses to “Best iPad Apps for Physical Therapy”

  1. As the author/developer of iOrtho+, I would like to thank Mike for posting this information about mobile apps. They are a wonderful resource & I use them all the time. I would also like to clarify a few things. First, I am VERY happy to say that I have addressed the one issue Mike commented on as lacking in iOrtho+……the video component. Well there is VIDEO! I just submitted the video build for review by Apple. The Android version is already out. Expect to see the Apple videos this week. In adddition, now that video is available, I would like to point out the significant difference in cost. This is something that was not addressed in the review. iOrtho+ is less than HALF the cost of the other Orthopedic Tests/Mobilization Apps & you get to view the ankle (tests) & knee (mobs) for free before you buy. Thank you for this opportunity to comment. I hope you like iOrtho+.

  2. Heather McWilliams, PT Reply June 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the information. I have been looking at apps for my ipad. I am trying to decide between the Visible Body and the Nova anatomy app and the Nova Muscle System Pro III. Some physical therapists indicated in the Visible Body review that muscles such as the multifidii and popliteus were missing in the Visible Body and they generally felt it was not detailed enough. Has anyone used or tried both apps? Thanks for any insights!

    Heather

    • Heather, I just checked Visible Body and it has both multifidus and popliteus. The VB app excels at the 3D views while the pocketbody app excels at depth views. I have not tried the Nova app, it is on my list for the future, but I am happy with the other options.

  3. Good article. I like the Orthopedic version of Draw MD. The shoulder model impresses Me the most.

    • You should have added one of the latest apps in the market that is selling like a storm and is quite popular with both students & clinicians in the fields of Medicine,Physical Therapy, Orthopedics & Osteology – “PT genie”

  4. Thanks Mike for the brief overview of the apps. I am one of the CORE and Mobile OMT developers. Just an update for your readers of what is on the horizon for Clinically Relevant apps. We just finished filming several more tests and hope to update our offerings to more than 300 special tests here shortly. In addition, we have 138 manual therapy videos in our OMT series, with more on the way. Our goal with the manual therapy techniques was to include those that have been used in clinical trials for patient management. We have a Home Exercise Module to complement the OMT apps coming out shortly. At that point we’ll have a total of approximately 500 videos demonstrating tests, techniques, and manual therapy exercises. Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive literature review for any special test that is in the medical literature. As users will note, many of our tests have even up to 10 or 15 references each. One of our criteria for including a test, is that it must be referenced in a journal article rather then just a textbook. Ultimately we hope these tools empower PTs in the clinic at the point of care! We are always open to feedback from users – submit freely from our site!

  5. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for this great list. A few more apps that you may wish to look at are the ones produced by the company 3D4 medical. I am an anatomy lecture for PT and use these all the time.

  6. Has anyone found a good way to take photos of patients doing exercises, synthesize them quickly then email them to the patient? Thanks for any insight.

    Nick

    • Depends on what you mean by synthesize. there are some great apps that you can take a photo, annotate it with lines, arrows etc, and then easily send from you iphone or ipad (sorry that is all I know).

      But, what is even more powerful and pretty quick if you are apple based -> take a photo with your iphone/ipad, it gets uploaded to icloud and your photostream, it them gets added to your photostream in iphoto, then open it in any program on your mac and do whatever you want! You can be advanced with something like photoshop or simple with something like Skitch (and its free).

      Good luck!

      • Basically I’m trying to create home exercise programs by taking pictures of the patient doing a specific exercise. Is there a program that allows you to copy, paste and size a picture so you can have 4-6 photos on a page? It’d be nice if you could add notes as well. I’ve tried some free document apps but haven’t found a good way yet.

        Thanks!
        Nick

    • At one of my classes, a PT said she videos them doing their ex s with the pt’s phone/ device.

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  8. If you’re looking at exercise prescription apps (real prescription not just a library they clients have to navigate on their own), then MyPhysio App is the best available. I might be biased as it’s my creation but dozens of practices and thousands of clients seem to think the same and its really taking off in Australia and the UK.

    http://www.myphysioapp.com.au lets you take in a 10 day free trial. US people might need to use the “send via email” as we have sms coverage worldwide but not the US at present.

    If you’ve got any questions I’m happy to help you directly.

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  10. What about the ‘Ubersense’?, how do you rate that compared to the one you mentioned above?

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