Today’s guest post comes from Heidi Jannenga, PT, MPT, ATC/L from WebPT.  You have probably heard of WebPT for their Electronic Medical Record system for PTs but also their recent, catchy Documentation Sucks campaign.

If you have read any of my past posts (or you are my wife as she thinks I’m more married to my iPad 🙂 )…then you know this topic is up my alley.  Thanks Heidi and WebPT for sharing your information! Hope you enjoy!

We’ve all seen the commercials: the catchy music paired with a montage of all the awesome things you can do with an iPad. The iPad—and Apple, in general—is all about the “wow,” the cool (and beautiful) factor. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has also released a pretty spiffy tablet called Surface with tons of entertaining marketing to boot. Then there are all the techy Android tablets, like the new Yoga and the Samsung Galaxy Note and Tab.

With these gadgets offering so much functionality, mobility, and quintessential coolness (which patients seem to really dig), it’s no wonder therapists are bringing iPads and other tablets into the clinic. In addition to using these devices for their text-to-speech functionality (for all of us therapists who prefer to dictate our notes) as well as for documentation and practice management purposes, we can also use tablets to aid our treatment plans through several therapy-centric apps. Here are five of my faves for manual and orthopedic therapists:

  1. Mobile OMT, or Mobile Orthopedic Manipulative Therapy, is an educational tool, offering musculoskeletal experts a slew of high quality videos (along with written descriptions) of mobilization and manipulative techniques. Created by Core (which also offers an excellent reference app for diagnosing musculoskeletal and orthopedic disorders), this program is actually divided into three separate apps and is available for both Apple (spine, lower extremity, and upper extremity) and Android (spine, lower extremity, and upper extremity).
  2. Visible Body’s 3D Muscular Premium Anatomyapp for Apple and 3D Anatomy Atlas for Android both provide detailed, fully interactive, and 3D human anatomy models. In addition to offering tons of details regarding each anatomical structure, you can also adjust the model by rotating, tilting, zooming, fading, and hiding to study the anatomy from any angle and with any combination of anatomical structures showing, faded, or hidden. The Apple version differs from the Android version in that it also offers quizzes and true 3D moving muscles.
  3. Muscle Trigger Points is another anatomy app; however, this particular app—available for Apple and Android devices—focuses specifically on trigger points and referral patterns. Select from over 70 individual muscles to view the visual referral pattern and point location as well as the written muscle action, referral, and comments for each muscle.
  4. iOrtho+ is available for free download through both Apple and Android. This comprehensive reference for over 88 joint mobilization techniques and more than 200 orthopedic special tests and developed is based entirely upon clinical research and evidence-based practice. While it does lack video, the images feature force vector arrows for additional clarity.
  5. Coach’s Eye came up during a Twitter discussion about favorite therapy apps. Available for Apple and Android, this app allows users to record video for form and technique review and improvement. Upon recording a video of any activity—volleyball serve, fastball pitch, or runner’s stride—you can then review and analyze with slow-motion, voice over, and drawing tools. One user said the app was like having your own “gait lab.”

Now that I’ve detailed some apps that manual and orthopedic therapists can use during treatment, let’s get the patient involved. While a digital Home Exercise Program (HEP) is your practice’s best bet, here are some patient-facing apps you can also recommend in lieu of an HEP or as a supplement:

  1. KORT Simple Stretches for Flexibility and Mobility
  2. Physioadvisor
  3. Motion Doctor

In the time that I’ve written this post, I’m sure a handful of other tablet apps have hit the market. So fill me in! What great apps did I miss? What do you recommend?

About the Author
Heidi Jannenga, PT, MPT, ATC/L

Heidi was a scholarship athlete at the University of California, Davis. Following a knee injury and subsequent successful rehabilitation, Heidi developed a passion for physical therapy. She started her 16-year physical therapy career after graduating with her Masters from the Institute of Physical Therapy in St. Augustine, Florida.

In 2008, Heidi and her husband Brad launched WebPT, the leading web-based Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and comprehensive practice management service for physical therapists. As the company’s COO, Heidi is responsible for product development/management, billing services, and customer support.

She now resides in Phoenix with Brad and their daughter Ava.




  1. Going along with EBP, the lumbar spine clinical prediction rule app is great and I believe it’s free. Also, because PT technique had some of its technique roots in osteopathy, the “OMM guide” app is great and offers technique description for many soft tissue, MET, and HVLAT. Also, because we are suppose to be direct access providers in the future based on the APTAs vision 20/20, I think the family medicine board exam prep app is a great app with test questions that may/may not be encountered by a PT in direct access. Some of the questions are certainly out of our scope of practice, but I think there are some great questions to test our medical knowledge as well, even though we may not encounter all of the clinical situations included in the quizzes.

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