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Due to the current Covid 19 precautions and the need to eliminate nonessential physical contact, physiotherapy clinics have had to stop having in-person sessions at their facilities. This unfortunate interruption in treatment has left both physiotherapists and clients asking what can be done in the meantime.

One option that clinics have been working on providing is Telerehabilitation. Telerehab is the remote delivery of health care services using telecommunication technology. Telerehab enables therapists and clients to interact via a secure videoconference platform or by telephone. Telerehab allows the therapist and client to carry out virtual assessment, treatment and educational sessions.

Although there are limitations to telerehab, it can be a very beneficial interim treatment approach allowing continuation of a level of care to the client. The following are some of the beneficial aspects of telerehab.

EDUCATION:  One of the most powerful tools that a person can have to help them recover from and injury or condition is an education and understanding of their issue.  A client can be educated on the anatomy, physiology and biomechanics underlying their injury or condition.  The more a client understands these factors the better prepared they are to understand why they feel what they feel, how long it might take to get better, and what they can do to help improve their recovery potential.

PAIN MANAGEMENT AND SELF RECOVERY STRATEGIES:  There are a number of things that a client can do at home that will help them manage their pain and improve their recovery time. Use of ice or heat, tissue massage or mobilization, activity avoidance or modification, home or worksite ergonomics and an appropriate balance of activity and rest are all components of recovery.  Clients can implement these strategies independently with the proper guidance and advice.

HOME EXERCISE PROGRAM:  A program of individualized stretches and strengthening exercises can be developed specific to each client’s condition. These home programs can be tailored to fit the space that the client has at home and utilize many common household items as equipment. The proper exercise program is key to a client’s recovery and prevention of future episodes.

SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT: Experiencing the pain and limitations of an injury or condition is not only a drain on a client’s physical health, but also it impacts their mental health. Having an opportunity to discuss not only how they feel physically but also mentally can make a huge impact on a client’s health.  Receiving education and reassurance about their specific injury or condition is important but a general discussion about the origins of ‘pain’, ‘hurt vs harm’ and the amazing ability of the body to heal can help reduce fear, anxiety and provide an optimistic outlook for recovery.

Telerehabilitation is a helpful way to provide all of the above to a client when they are unable to attend a clinic in person. Telerehab allows a client to be an active participant in their health and wellbeing in the comfort and safety of their own home.

If you think that a telerehabilitation session would be helpful for you, please feel free to contact Wellington Physiotherapy.

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