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Who Is Appropriate For Tele-health?

Almost anyone with a musculoskeletal condition can benefit from remote services!  Education, exercise and self applied techniques are all essential components of physical therapy that translate well to video-conferencing or telephone platforms.   As well, evidence supports early conservative intervention for muscle, bone or joint injuries as a way of decreasing the risk of more invasive medical procedures in the future, including surgery.

What Can I Expect From A Tele-health Session?

Your session may vary depending on whether it is an assessment for a new issue or, if you have been seen previously by your therapist.  Each session is likely to start with a review of your symptoms, response to previous treatment, functional limitations, and goals.  A thorough examination is still possible through video conferencing. This may include testing for range of motion, strength, joint mobility and special tests.  As with an in person visit, your therapist will use the information collected to create a specific treatment plan tailored to your injury.  Education will be provided on the nature of the injury, as well as other relevant information to optimize your recovery.  This might include things such as sleep positions, posture, office ergonomics, activity modifications and symptom management techniques.  Your therapist will also demonstrate appropriate exercises to assist in your recovery.  We are also able to provide guidance on adjunct techniques such as taping, bracing, self massage techniques and modalities (e.g. heat and cold application).

Is There Evidence To Support Tele-Health?

In offering remote services, we put considerable thought into the process and continue to rely heavily on evidence based practice. There is some fairly robust evidence to support the use of tele-health.

  • A recent systematic review demonstrated high reliability and good validity when comparing tele-health assessments with in-person assessments for musculoskeletal conditions.
  • More specific studies found high primary diagnosis agreement between tele-health and in person assessments for clients with low back pain and non-articular lower extremity problems.
  • In terms of outcomes, there is evidence that remote services offer outcomes on par with face-to face treatment, for example, in those post shoulder operation and in those in a post-acute phase of rehab following discharge from an acute care facility.

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