Thursday 3th March
The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way that many services are being delivered across many sectors. Luckily, IPRS Health have been delivering Virtual Physiotherapy via telephone or video call for many years. The current need for people to isolate themselves or reduce social contact means that this is currently the most appropriate method of receiving Physiotherapy.
The concept of Virtual Physiotherapy may cause some initial anxiety for some people but we can confidently say that IPRS manage musculoskeletal problems successfully every day via remote rehabilitation, achieving great outcomes for many people.
The aim of this blog is to give you an understanding of how common musculoskeletal problems like back pain can be successfully managed remotely - without needing to see a Physiotherapist in person.
This is the first big doubt everyone has when Virtual Physiotherapy is mentioned. The simple answer is that the majority of information that physiotherapists use to work out what is going on and how we can help comes from you and your story.
Thorough questioning and guidance with some simple movements can help paint a very accurate picture of what is going on. Physiotherapists are trained to screen you to make sure your problem is likely to be resolved by Physiotherapy. Our number one job is to make sure that nothing sinister is causing your symptoms. We can decide whether your symptoms require further investigations or whether physiotherapy is the most appropriate course of management.
This decision can be achieved in most cases remotely by asking certain questions and having a good understanding of what symptoms might indicate that Physiotherapy is not suitable. If Physiotherapy has been deemed appropriate, then there is no reason why Virtual Physiotherapy won’t work for you. Only a tiny minority of problems need scans or surgery. The majority of people are managed through Physiotherapy treatment.
After your assessment you are likely to be given advice and education regarding your condition and how you can optimise your recovery in your day to day life. Even when going into a face to face clinic, the 30 minutes you are with a Physiotherapist is a fraction of the time you spend on your own. Learning how to best calm your symptoms down and optimise your recovery by modifying your activity and addressing other lifestyle factors is hugely important.
You are likely to be given a personalised exercise programme to compliment your recovery. We use an app that allows you to access your programme from your phone with videos of each exercise and an area to communicate and feedback any comments to us. You will have access to your Physiotherapist at all times through the app so any questions can be answered. This ensures that you feel well supported and is definitely one of the advantages Virtual Physiotherapy has over clinic based treatment.
You will have follow up telephone appointments to regularly review your management and exercises so that things can be progressed to ensure your condition improves. The advice, education and exercises you receive will be tailored to your condition and continually monitored. Working in collaboration with your Physiotherapist is important, so ask questions and ensure that you are happy with the long-term plan.
You may also be given some educational information to read through or watch. This is all about empowering and equipping you with the right knowledge to manage your condition. Remember - we can also provide video consultations which in some circumstances can enhance the assessment and experience you get. If you are more comfortable with this format then please make sure you request this from your Physiotherapist.
If the option remains open (given the current coronavirus situation) then if at any point you feel like you are not making progress you should discuss the option of seeing someone in person with your Physiotherapist. Our main priority is getting you better. If a face to face assessment is needed, then we will do our best to facilitate that.
Having a thorough telephone or video assessment from an experienced Physiotherapist is a valuable and effective way of gaining an understanding of what your problem is and how to get it better. Our main skill is our knowledge and experience. Virtual Physiotherapy management allows you to access this expertise from your own home which is an effective treatment pathway – and also a great solution to the current situation with regards to coronavirus. Remember, there are 168 hours in a week, 30 minutes in a Physiotherapy clinic cannot be as powerful as optimising what you do for the other 167.5 hours.« Back to News & Blog