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How to Access Physiotherapy during the COVID-19 Crisis: Tele-Rehabilitation is the answer!

We’ve worked hard to transition to virtual tele-rehab care during this challenging time with limited access to anything. If you or a loved one needs physiotherapy care we got you covered.

What is Tele-Rehab?

Tele-rehab is a “virtual” appointment over video when it isn't possible to see your therapist in person. It’s actually not that much different from regular physiotherapy, plus we’ve implemented some exciting new technology that allows us to provide you with beautifully presented exercise videos and handy tracking sheets. This way we’ll know if you are doing your exercises, no more excuses...muahaha! If you don’t have a computer we can also do follow-up appointments by telephone but initial appointments really need the video feed so we can see you.

Who is appropriate for Tele-Rehab?

Most patients will be appropriate for the initial tele-rehabilitation assessment as it would be similar to an in-person assessment. The care planing portion of your initial assessment will determine the need, frequency and duration of your ongoing treatment. Virtual care is most useful in situations where exercise, education, self-management instruction, and monitoring are the primary methods used to accomplish the rehab goals. With creativity, these forms of therapy are fairly easily adaptable to the virtual environment. Much like in a doctor’s appointment, asking the right questions is essential in determining the right diagnosis and treatment plan. We are experts in knowing what questions to ask, how to implement meaningful change and when it is safe or not to manage a case virtually.

Who is NOT appropriate for Tele-Rehab?

Tele-rehabilitation’s main consideration is patient safety and suitability for the virtual environment. We still have not figured out how to reach through the screen to make any hands on corrections to your exercises or to needle or to massage away the pain...but we are working on it. So far, “beam me up scotty”... just doesn't work well enough yet to jump into your room in case you are losing your balance or if there are other safety concerns. So if balance is a major issue then Tele-rehabilitation may not be suitable. If it is determined that you would most benefit from hands-on therapy we will provide you with as much advice and guidance for self-care during your tele-rehabilitation visit and then refer you for hands-on therapy when available. The decision is up to you and your therapist to determine what is best for you, based on your particular condition, preference, available technology and other risks factors.

I’m used to seeing my physio in person. What’s an example of a virtual rehab visit?

For example, if you just had your hip or knee replaced or you were one of the people that’s surgery has been postponed because of COVID-19. Either way you are now in limbo. So you are likely wondering what to do in the meantime. Well this is the time to start strengthening and mobility exercises to get you started on your rehabilitation journey. If you’ve got aches and pains today why wait until we are open again or after your surgery to get help? Your Tele-health visit would start with a discussion of your goals and then you will do some movements directed by your therapist so they can see what is working well and what could use some help and then your therapist will guide in self-management strategies that could include progressive range of motion, strengthening, functional exercises and self-mobilization. You will be given education throughout the appointment and be sent an email with your exercises and a summary of the keys points of education. These have all been shown to achieve similar outcomes whether in person with your Physio or remotely through video conferencing.

Will my session be private and secure?

Yes. We conduct our appointments using a secure video conferencing platform called Physitrak that meets the health care standards for privacy. Your practitioner will conduct the appointment in their own private room meaning you will receive the same level of privacy you are used to during your in person appointments.

What do I need for my tele-rehab appointment?

You will need the internet, a computer, tablet or smartphone with video and microphone capabilities or a telephone if you would rather. You don’t have to download any programs as we will email you a link to your virtual appointment. Just keep an eye out for that email right before your scheduled appointment. Wear clothes similar to what you would wear in the clinic/gym.

We look at Tele-rehabilitation this way. The research shows that the best rehabilitation outcomes are achieved by the hard work you put into rehabilitation. The most important factors are a thorough assessment, education, mobility and strength exercises specific to you and a whole lot of dedication and determination to following the rehabilitation plan set for you. So why wait? Get started with your rehabilitation journey TODAY!

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