FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What injuries are appropriate for an online Physiotherapy consultation?
Knee Injuries – osteoarthritis, tendon pain, bursitis and post-surgical rehab
Shoulder Injuries – bursitis, rotator cuff tears and impingement
Lower back pain – disc bulges, muscle spasm and sciatic nerve issues
Neck discomfort – disc herniation, cervical spondylosis, cervical tenderness, wry neck, whiplash
Hip pain – post hip replacement, impingement, labral tears, groin strains, hip bursitis (trochanteric bursitis), hip flexor irritation and hip arthritis
Low back pain – disc bulges, acute low back pain, muscle spasm and sciatica
Muscle weakness- hamstring tears, calf tears, quadriceps tears
How can you assess something without seeing me in person?
Assessing a person is a highly skilled process which takes years to develop. Physiotherapist’s are trained extensively in this important skill. There have been many studies reporting both the accuracy and patient satisfaction of a physiotherapist’s assessment and diagnosis.
Assessment consists of two components: firstly, a subjective assessment or history and secondly, an objective assessment or physical. Any good clinician will tell you that the most important component to an accurate diagnosis is good history taking, and this can be performed exceptionally well in person, on the phone, or by video messaging by a skilled physiotherapist. In most circumstances, the clinician can be quite certain of the diagnosis after the history alone, and the physical assessment merely confirms the diagnosis and establishes some base line measurements for future reference.
The use of webcams allows the therapist to walk a person through the physical assessment, allowing them to confirm the diagnosis and establish baseline measurements that can be reassessed in the future to check progress. Of course, it is not possible to perform some tests, but most orthopaedic tests require the patient to copy a movement and the clinician notes if there was, a) reproduction of the person’s pain, b) how and how far a person can move. There have been several studies comparing the accuracy of online versus in person assessments for low back pain, stroke, multiple sclerosis, shoulder conditions, ankle injuries, lower limb disorders and post total knee replacement, all of which showed excellent (statistically significant) correlation.
How can a physiotherapist treat me online?
You may be wondering how online physiotherapy consultations actually work, because the general perception of what a physiotherapist does is hands on manual therapy work with you, the patient, on the bed. And if this was still the crux of our role as physiotherapists then you would be absolutely correct, however there is now a large body of evidence to show that active rehabilitation (exercise therapy) is the most effective tool to ensure you become empowered to be pain free long term; exercise is medicine.
Online management lends itself well to treating conditions with exercise, education and reassurance. And you know what – the vast majority of research supports this hands off approach. Yes, at times passive hands on treatment can be a useful adjunct to an active rehab program, but not as often as one is lead to believe. Take charge of your rehabilitation and let us give you the information you need to manage your condition best.
Physiotherapy treatment, first and foremost, involves giving you a clear understanding of what your injury is, and how and why it happened. The next step is to establish how your injury fits with your current lifestyle and activity level. Should you stop or keep pushing through? Should you do more or less? Your Physiotherapist will give you a really clear framework to follow.
Finally, your physiotherapist will work with you to develop a series of exercises to assist you with recovery. These exercises will stretch what may be tight, strengthen what is weak, and improve balance, reflexes and overall function. These exercises will be progressed as you improve, to a point where they will form a maintenance program to help to prevent you to get injured again.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS INVOLVED?
THE FULL PICTURE
We meet using a video app and your physio takes a thorough history of how your injury started, your training and lifestyle.
Your physio guides you to perform test movements (just like in a clinic) while observing via the video feed.
DIAGNOSE & TREAT
This allows your physio to diagnose your injury and create your treatment program.
PRACTISE & SUPPORT
Your physio teaches you all the exercises and sends you a written report with pictures/videos of your exercises. Ask as many questions as you like via email.