Physiotherapy Blog

Until very recently, the concept of visiting your physiotherapist online (or any tele-health service for that matter) through a computer monitor wasn’t considered a widely practiced form of rehabilitation. As you may have seen lately across your feeds, healthcare practitioners throughout North America are beginning to adapt and embrace new technologies. Physiotherapists want to make sure that their patients continue to have access to the same quality of treatment regardless of the limitations that recent global events have imposed on us.
Online physiotherapy, also often referred to as virtual physiotherapy or tele-rehabilitation, is a great resource for anyone looking to seek one-on-one professional advice for treatment and injury prevention. It’s a convenient option for individuals who are unable to make clinic visits due to busy schedules, living in remote locations, or being quarantined. Virtual appointments are especially suitable for patients who are motivated in learning how to fix themselves with the guidance of a registered physiotherapist.

How do I get started with OPO?

  • Book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.
  • Fill out an intake form and health questionnaire. Understanding and knowing your full health history is important to help your physiotherapist prepare for your assessment.
  • Meet your therapist through online video conferencing on our clinic management software Jane App

What should I expect on my first online physiotherapy appointment?

Once you’ve completed your booking, your initial assessment with your physiotherapist will take place.
  • Your therapist will ask you questions regarding your injury or symptoms, the problems you’re having, how it impacts your life, and your rehabilitation goals . This may seem like a long discussion, but 80% of the information that you provide will help us develop your diagnosis (Epstein et al (2008)).
  • Next is the physical assessment. Your therapist will guide you through functional movements such as squatting, single leg balance and range of motion (ROM) testing to see how you move, and a series of repeated movement testing (using the McKenzie Method). Other tests might be required depending on your injury while you communicate with your therapist what and where you feel during the assessment.
  • Education is the key to helping you understand how to heal and prevent further injuries. Your therapist will educate you on your current diagnosis based on steps 1 and 2. They will explain the reasons why you might be experiencing pain or other symptoms, address your concerns and discuss a plan with you to ensure it meets your needs and goals.
  • Your physiotherapist will then provide a strategic self-treatment plan. They will recommend specific exercises that can correct your painful movements, show you self-treatment techniques (ex. foam rolling), and advise you on how to manage your pain appropriately. You will be guided through each movement on video together to ensure that exercises are performed correctly.
The main difference between in-clinic physiotherapy and online physiotherapy is the hands-off approach towards your rehabilitation. Your prescribed treatment plan incorporates a detailed self-guided series of techniques that are specific to your injury along with tools that you have available at home (rolling pins work wonders!).
The success of your rehabilitation relies on having an open line of communication with your physiotherapist. Your therapist will devise weekly plans tailored to your needs and goals, and will be modified based on your body’s response to the treatment methods. We’re here to answer any questions or concerns you have regarding your rehab. After all, this is about getting you better!
Even without the therapeutic ‘tingly’ machines and hands-on treatment, you can still accomplish comparable outcomes as receiving in-clinic care. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and skills to fix yourself. Our therapists will give you all the tools to become confident in your movements in order to achieve a pain-free and healthy body.
With that being said, online physiotherapy may not be for everyone depending on certain injury types – we’re happy to offer you a free 10 minute consultation to see if online rehabilitation is the right fit for you! Leave us a message on our contact form here or email us at ontariophysioonline@gmail.com.
Move better. Move today.
Lucy Nguyen, PT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *