When the world is switching to online communication to increase social distancing, how can you replace the hands-on treatment of physiotherapy? Most physiotherapy clinics across Canada have started using Telehealth, an online portal similar to Skype or Zoom that allows physiotherapists and their patients to be able to see each other.
Over the internet the physiotherapist can assess, diagnose, and teach the patient how to treat themselves while maintaining social distancing rules. Although many patients will miss the hands-on approach, I want you to know that you do not have to be in pain and alone.
I want to share with you the highlights of how Telehealth works and how most injuries can be rehabilitated with the right knowledge of what to do and with techniques to self-treat your own injury with help from a physiotherapist.
Every physiotherapy session in a clinic or online starts out with the physiotherapist asking questions. During the interview the wheels are turning in our physio brains to rule out possible injuries. If someone says to me, “the pain feels tingly”, that’s most likely a nerve being pinched. If they say, “it hurts my back when I cough”, that could indicate a disc bulge.
We then take our top hypothesis of what the injury could be and then perform tests to rule in or out each one. During a Telehealth session, it is very easy to perform the interview part of the session. Then when we get to the physical tests, we might say to a patient, “can you push on this part of your hip and let me know if that’s sore”. Once the physiotherapist figures out what the injury is, we can then teach the patient everything they need to know to get better.
For example, “keep moving that sprained ankle or it can get stiff”. or what not to do, “if it hurts to raise your arm that high- don’t as we have other ways to keep the flexibility without creating pain”. For the patient we can design a customized rehabilitation program tailored specifically for you, what equipment you have access to, and what goals you want to achieve.
The patient will then learn how to use their hands or tools to be their own physiotherapist. Almost every injury can be treated with using a towel, ball, foam roller, exercise or even the patient’s own hands. You just need to know what to do! These self-treatment techniques have been around since the 80’s when a physiotherapist name Brian Mulligan published a book about the patient executing the treatment just like a physiotherapist.
Many physiotherapists have been using these techniques for years to help patients who can’t afford to go to weekly physiotherapy or who just need daily work on their injury to get better faster.
At Broadmead Physiotherapy we have a team of specialists who understand that being socially distant does not mean you have to be in pain without any support. We are here for you.
We invite you to book an appointment online by clicking here or contact us at 250-881-1199 or email@example.com to find out more.