Telehealth for Physio – How Does That Work?
Over the past two years, the term “TELEHEALTH” has become a buzz word. Doctors are using it with great success as are many other allied health professions. But how can it work for Physiotherapy? Is it still effective? Is it worthwhile?
How does Telehealth work?
Video consultations run much like a normal video call. Like a face-to-face consultation, we will discuss your injury, your pain profile and the things that impact your pain. From here we will lead you in completing an assessment. This will entail you pointing out the area of pain, palpating that area to identify tender and/or tight tissues/ligaments/tendons. We will guide you into a movement based assessment which will help in determining the flexibility/stiffness of the affected area, the strength of associated muscles, quality of your movement and your balance. During this we’ll be looking for you to explain what you’re feeling so we can gain a good clinical picture of your injury and come up with a treatment plan that aligns with your goals. If we deem it appropriate, we can still write you a referral for imaging.
What do you need?
For your telehealth consult to run smoothly, all you need is;
- a quiet space
- room for you to move around uninhibited and lay down
- a smart device that can be placed in a position for the physio to see you move (handsfree)
But how can you treat me if we’re not in the same place?
People find great benefit in receiving “hands-on” treatment when they come to the physio and this may be why people believe physiotherapy cannot work via video consultation. Over COVID in particular, I have treated a large number of clients via video consultations. Some with new and acute injuries (low back pain or an ankle sprain), others have chronic pain issues and of course people who are in the middle of exercise based rehabilitation. But how is it possible?
There are a number of ways for us to deliver an effective treatment other than just with our hands. We can direct you with self treatments such as loosening joints, releasing stiff and tight muscles, and implementing pain relieving exercises. We will teach you pain relieving strategies to assist in your recovery. Once your acute pain has settled, the rehabilitation process continues by progressing your exercises in a manner that is tailored towards your goal, whatever that may be. These exercises can be gym based or home based depending on what you prefer in the current climate. An exercise program will then be emailed to you with videos, a description of the exercise and how many to do. This can be printed out or it is saved on an app for your convenience.
How long will it take?
Telehealth consults run much like normal physio consults. You can expect your appointment to take between 20-40 minutes.
What’s the cost of a Telehealth consult?
The telehealth consultation costs $85. Fortunately these sessions are rebatable with your Private Health Fund just like when you see your Physiotherapist face-to-face.
So what do you think?
Now more than ever is it important to ensure our physical and mental wellbeing are being well looked after. Don’t let your injuries and niggles get the better of you. If you’re not keen on coming in to the clinic, why not book in a telehealth consult? Click here to book now.