Over my 25+ years of helping a variety of patients recover from pain and injury, one of the key things that I find when they come to see me is that they are "stuck." They sustained an injury or pain onset, rested and it got "better" but then, when they try to get back to their normal activities, the pain comes back. Many are left frustrated and confused about what they should or should not be doing to get back to doing the things they enjoy. For the majority of these people, they need to understand what has been going on, they need a clear diagnosis of their problem and how long it will take to get over, and they need guidance on how best to recover and stay active during their recovery. The great thing is that all of this can be done using telehealth.
Telehealth basically just describes receiving health care through a secure, online platform. I do my visits using video software so that we are actually meeting "face-to-face." I send my patients a simple website link which they can click on to join me in an appointment. A typical telehealth session includes detailed questioning about your problem-where does it hurt, how bad does it get, what makes it better (or worse), what have you tried, how did it happen, and what are your goals? I also ask specific questions to make sure that there is nothing serious going on would require you to see a physician.
These "treatment strategies" can include education abut your problem and pain in general, specific exercises that you can do for your problem, as well as laying out guidelines about what you should feel, how to progress your activities, or how to regress them if you are having problems. Interestingly, this is all the same information that I would do to help someone if I saw them in the clinic.
Now, one of the main questions I hear from people when I discuss telehealth sessions is "how do you treat people if you don't touch them?" The answer to this is that much of the information that I use to determine how to help someone can be obtained from my questioning and asking my patient to do specific movements and activities. For treatment, sometimes hand-on, manual therapy does help lessen the pain, but the main thing that helps people recover (and there is plenty of research to support this) is the exercises that they do along with the advice and guidance on activity/exercise modification to get them back to moving/training/exercising again. Most people benefit from just learning what to do, or that it is ok to do certain things. I read a great quote the other day the "rehab is just training while injured." If you are not an exercise person to begin with, you could substitute "training" for "being active." My role is to help people get moving in a safe way while injured an in pain-the movement if done correctly is the treatment.
Another question that people have about telehealth concerns the equipment needed and whether it is difficult to do for someone who is not very tech savvy. These visits are very easy. All you need is a smart phone, laptop or desk computer. If you are using a phone, having a small stand to hold it, or someplace to prop it up is helpful. After I have your email address, I send you a link that you click on at the time of your appointment and that will connect you to me face-to-face through the computer. We then can start our visit. It really is easy!
So, who is appropriate for telehealth treatment?
If you want more information on telehealth you can click on this link:
If you are wondering if your problem can be helped with online treatment, feel free to call me at (920)857-1622 or email me at Bob@promotiongb.com and we can discuss further.
8/23/2021 01:42:43 pm
I can see how asking a patient to do specific movements could work for telehealth physical therapy. I'd like to try it out at least. Then if it works well I can keep at it.
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