Twenty-twenty, what a year so far – fires in Australia, Kobe Bryant’s death, now the world in limbo because of COVID -19. More than a month into this pandemic, I think it is fair to say things won’t be returning to “normal” anytime soon, or maybe even ever after this. Adaptation is an important concept throughout history and more so now than ever. What will we see change for good once this is “all over” – wider side walks, decreased capacities in stores, restaurants and cafes, the disappearance of the handshake, more people working from home – virtually?
These are all fantastic questions, and given all this free time many of us have likely been pondering them. But between the existential speculation, you may be wondering: “Ok Steph, all this bread kneading has been giving me carpal tunnel, and my physiotherapy care has always heavily relied on a hands-on approach to assessment and treatment; how are you going to be able to help me “virtually” from the comfort of our own respective homes?”
Even though 2020 has not been ideal thus far, we are lucky to live in a day where technology allows us to connect in real time (thank you – Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc.). So while the world hits pause in the wake of COVID-19, your recovery doesn’t have to do the same. We have the awesome opportunity to provide alternate or supplement care with virtual appointments (using telecommunications technology: email, phone, video chat). Social distancing doesn’t mean you need to lose your rehab’s momentum.
As a physiotherapist, my expertise lies in movement and movement conditions that affect individuals quality of life and physical function/performance; and although we prefer to observe and do hands on assessment we can still easily help you by observing and coaching when an in-person treatment isn’t possible.
Virtual care (or telerehab) can be used for all aspects of client care including the client interview, movement assessment and optimization, treatment, maintenance activities, consultation, education, and therapeutic exercise. Virtual care is an alternate mode of service delivery of traditional rehabilitation services but should not be thought of as a new rehabilitation service on its own. Virtual appointments are most appropriate in situations where you cannot easily attend an in-person visit – hello COVID-19; it’s hard to keep up with social distancing and provide face-to-face, in-person assessment and treatment.
Now, obviously there is no physical contact during a virtual care appointment, but research shows that it does not deter positive outcomes. Recent studies show that regardless of client demographics or disease studied (ex. low back pain, post-op hip or knee, stroke, arthritis, neck pain, etc.) most found virtual care comparable to clinic based therapy with respect to outcomes such as pain, strength, general health, activity participation, etc.
Interestingly, many studies found significantly better outcomes for virtual care clients (compared to in-person care clients) in the categories of home exercise compliance, appointment access and overall satisfaction of care.
Now virtual care isn’t necessarily the best option for everyone; however, keeping in touch with your physiotherapist via virtual appointments allows for continued support, empowerment, and keeping on track with your original health and treatment goals; the only difference is the medium in which you are receiving care.
This pandemic has led all of us to adapt to the uncertainty of daily life as we knew it, but it does not interfere with my passion and ability to serve and help you “rise up to better health.” If you are in need of care, please reach out or book a virtual appointment online at https://surgephysio.janeapp.com
For more information or to book an appointment call 705-380-3312 or visit the website . Surge Physiotherapy is located at 33 King William Street, Suite 204, in Huntsville. Office hours are flexible with evening appointments available (3x/week). Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie is a bilingual, Registered Physiotherapist with the College of Physiotherapist of Ontario and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association who is committed to providing a hands on, personalized approach to physiotherapy.
Stephanie, a native to the Huntsville community, developed a passion for health and wellness during her youth while competing in cross-country running, nordic skiing, and track and field. Stephanie has always had a strong caring nature and fell in love with the physiotherapy profession while volunteering at a physiotherapy clinic during high school and university.
Stephanie continued to build on her passion for health care by attending McGill University and completing her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. During her Masters in Health Science of Physiotherapy, completed at the University of Ottawa, she completed internships in orthopaedic clinics, hospitals, home care, and neurology centres.