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188 Physiotherapy Telehealth

 

How Can Physio be Provided through Telehealth?

How can a physiotherapist help me even though we are not physically present in the same room?

The following is still able to be done online through a telehealth consult:

  1. We can definitely assess, tell you what’s wrong, and treat you through a video consultation.
  2. Questioning you about your condition or injury is no different.
  3. We can safely guide you through a series of tests and movements to figure out what the issue is.
  4. A personal recovery plan will then be formulated.
  5. A tailored exercise program can be created using video prescription software. This is what we do now even when you come in physically.
  6. If we need to see you physically to improve care, we will let you know.

How can a physiotherapist tell me what the issue is without touching me?

A physiotherapist is formulating possibilities of what the issue is with every question they ask. Every successive question will hone the reason for a particular problem. We would then need to look at you performing specific movements or tests to confirm what we are thinking. This can definitely be done through video consultation.

How can a physiotherapist treat me without touching me?

Manual therapy (massage/trigger point therapy) is just one of the tools that physiotherapists use to manage conditions. Much has and continues to change when treating patients with pain. There is so much physiotherapists can advise on with respect to posture, positioning, bracing, activity modification and exercise prescription which can all be done online. Most importantly, understanding what the issue is, having a diagnosis and being empowered that you can control how well you manage your condition are the critical factors which again are all possible just by having a conversation.

What conditions can be treated well via Telehealth?

These conditions include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Back, Neck, Hip, Knee, Shoulder, Elbow, Ankle pain
  • Rheumatic Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Persistent / Chronic pain
  • Diet & Nutrition Management (for weight loss, anti-inflammatory eating, irritable bowel syndrome, FODMAPs, eating disorders)
  • Orthopaedic Rehabilitation
  • Women’s Health / Continence Management
  • Sports Injury Rehabilitation
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation

Do I need a referral to have a telehealth consultation?

A referral is not required to see an allied health practitioner via telehealth. However, you may require a referral if you seek to claim a rebate or be bulk-billed under certain funding models. Please see “Am I able to claim a for a telehealth consult?” for further information.

What do I need to setup for a telehealth consult?

Equipment needed:

  • A laptop preferably due to the ability to move easily and adjust the angle of the camera but desktop computer will do in an appropriate space, OR
  • An ipad or tablet

NB: only use a smart phone if you really don’t have access to the above

  • If specific equipment is needed, your practitioner will let you know in advance for future consults. We will most likely require any equipment for rehabilitation that you may have such as a tennis ball, spikey/massage ball, foam roller, resistance bands or a set of stairs/a step.

 

Internet:

  • A good internet connection is required. Video consultations require good download and upload speeds (2 Mbps is preferable both ways)
  • A back up internet option too is great just in case the primary source fails. For some, tethering (connecting) their phone’s 4G network to their computer or device is the backup

 

Environment:

  • Making sure your device has sufficient battery. Have it connected to a power supply if needed
  • Sufficient lighting so that you practitioner can see you well
  • Be in an area which does not have background noise. Using headphones may not be appropriate when doing parts of the assessment
  • You may need an area to lie down and be visible to your practitioner. Hence placement of your device on a stable surface may be important
  • Appreciate that your bed may be a useful tool when it comes to assessment or prescribing of exercises

 

Clothing requirements:

  • A practitioner can gain better perspective if they are able to see the body part/parts more clearly. Wearing appropriate clothing so that this is possible can be very helpful.
  • Wear a singlet type or sports top for a neck or shoulder issue.
  • Shorts would be preferable for back and lower limb issues.

 

 

Make the Most of Your Physio Session

Blanche shares some useful tips to ensure you get the most out of your telehealth session.

179 How to  best prepare telehealth physiotherapy consultation

How Can Physio Help With Rheumatic Disease?


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