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Given the current state of affairs in the world right now, the digital rehab space is quickly becoming recognised as a valuable source of treatment and education.

Providing a vehicle to circumnavigate environmental and logistical issues posed by scenarios like Covid 19, digital rehab can be a great way for you to begin or continue addressing your unique pain points and get back to doing the activities you love.

What does ‘digital rehab’ mean?

Digital rehab or ‘telehealth’ refers to your physiotherapy or allied health appointment being held online between you and your practitioner. Like a normal appointment slot in the diary, the session is conducted the same as a face to face session, just without being in the same room. Digital rehab is a unique vessel that still provides substantial value while improving upon the accessibility, connectivity and cost of traditional consultations.

Why Would I Choose Telehealth over Face to Face?

There are many advantages to telehealth that circumnavigate some of the logistical and environmental issues that arise with face to face consultations.

Telehealth is a significantly more accessible medium not just suited for those in regional areas. Busy professionals and caretakers alike are well suited to online consultations as it reduces the time spent preparing and travelling to a location. It can provide easier access to preferred clinicians that may be located too far from where you live, work or can travel to during restricted Covid periods.

Telehealth provides more frequent and streamlined access to your physio, as you are able to ask and find solutions to your problems immediately as they arise rather than waiting until your next face to face consult.

This streamlined service reduces costs for the consumer and provides a safe environment in which to receive care, especially for vulnerable populations.

At its core, telehealth works to promote your self-efficacy and gives you the ability to take control of your own body. Ultimately the choices you make will determine your outcomes, so finding the right advice and developing a detailed, structured rehab plan will help ensure you overcome the barriers holding you back from living a purposeful life.

How does it work if you as the practitioner can’t ‘feel’ the injury?

The biggest rejection for online rehab is the inability for the practitioner to put their hands on you for assessment and treatment.

While this can be invaluable in the early stages in altering your pain picture, the effect of manual therapy is only an intermediate supplement to your long-term recovery. In some cases, reliance on practitioner based, manual interventions can take time away from focusing on longer term solutions that will treat the underlying cause rather than its symptoms.

Online we are still able to conduct a deeper subjective assessment to really hone in on exactly what is going on from a day to day perspective. It gives us valuable insight as to what we need to modify for the time you spend outside the physio room, which makes up the overwhelming majority of your activity.

Similarly, via videolink we are able to visually assess and determine findings from a range of differential physical tests which usually make up the majority of our face to face objective assessment. This provides both you as the individual and the practitioner with valuable information about the way your body moves and how that might be contributing to your specific presentation.

In the time we have available, we won’t waste any time on ‘filler’ treatments that feel nice at the time, but have minimal impact on overall function. The main goal of the session is to develop a clear and individualised plan, that being the catalyst to seeing lasting change in your day to day life.

It sounds great, but I am still not totally convinced that telehealth is right for me

Even as technology increasingly occupies more domains in our lives, it’s still tough to let go of authentic physical connection.

This is a reasonable concern in a term where genuine connectivity is of paramount importance.

If you’ve understood how telehealth works, but you’re still not sure whether telehealth is ‘worth it’ for you, then try answer these 3 questions

  • How long have you had your injury
  • How much of a priority is your injury to you
  • It is something massage or dry needling is going to fix

If you’ve tried a hands on only approach before, but havent seen the results, spending time with a physio on how to elevate your lifestyle and develop a plan going forwards might be the right solution for you!

Get in touch to see how telehealth can keep you moving and doing what you love!

Dan Ryles

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