We’ve been offering remote physiotherapy consultations by video link for a while, for patients who travel abroad or move away from home. In the last few weeks, however, it’s become a lot more popular!
Where face-to-face consultations aren’t possible, Telehealth works really well … put simply, it’s better to put a management plan in place than sit on a deteriorating problem for 3 months. There is good scientific evidence for the effectiveness of Telehealth for many musculoskeletal problems (see the ‘research’ section below).
How it works
You choose your preferred platform (Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, Zoom etc) and let me know. We arrange an appointment time. I call you at the agreed time.
We’ll talk through your injury, symptoms, lifestyle and goals in the same way we would in a face-to-face appointment. This is followed by:
- Physical examination
- Treatment plan
This is where we can really make use of being connected by video. I will ask you to map out the areas of pain and other symptoms and guide you through specific movements or diagnostic tests. I will be able to see where the pain is and how it responds to the movements and tests you perform. I will demonstrate the movement so you know exactly how to do it. I may ask you to put pressure on certain structures to reveal any areas that are painful to touch. The tests are similar to those used in clinic and will help to establish which tissues are involved. We can also get a good indication of strength and endurance by performing exercise testing where appropriate.
I then put all this information together to provide you with a diagnosis. I will be able to tell you what is causing your pain and, more importantly, how to address it with a treatment plan.
Your treatment plan will usually consist of several components, including some changes to you can make to your daily routine. We will try to remove some of the things driving the problem and introduce helpful alternatives. It will likely involve some changes to your exercise, sport or training program as well as a targeted rehabilitation involving strength, mobility or control training.
I will demonstrate all exercises and check you are performing them well and then send you a video for your reference, as well as a summary of the important points from the consultation.
Using the exercise platform, you can send me an update and video clips of you performing exercise or specific aspects of your sport training or rehabilitation.
The purpose of follow-up consultations is to evaluate your progress, review the strategies that we have put in place and make modifications to your treatment plan. Many musculoskeletal problems require a graded exposure to exercise, and the program must be progressed to ensure recovery does not plateau. You may wish to use the free app to keep you keep track.
To book your first consultation, send us an e-mail
Other ways we can help using remote appointments:
- Specific training programs for those wishing to target sporting events. For example, a certain marathon time (e.g. sub 4 hr).
- Remote bike fit video analysis. Send me your video and I can perform DartFish video analysis for the purposes of injury prevention and optimal positioning.
- Remote running analysis. Send me the video of your running (treadmill please) and I perform analysis for the propose of injury prevention and performance optimization.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy support and recommend the use of Telehealth services.
Telehealth: research evidence
Lee et al. (2018). Telehealth Physical Therapy in Musculoskeletal Practice.