Can online physiotherapy really work? This is a question that is on everyone’s mind when they first hear about online consultations and Physiotherapy. While traditional physio consists of hands-on treatment like massage, dry needling and spinal mobilization; Telehealth/online consultation offer creative self-treatment techniques to treat your own body.
What are the benefits of online physiotherapy?
Improve access to physiotherapy services
There are many people in South Africa that do not have access to proper healthcare. Telehealth is a great way to close this gap and provide healthcare to communities that desperately need it.
Reduce the need for travel
You can do online physiotherapy in the comfort of your own home or office. It gives you the flexibility to still do your physio session, whether you have a sick child at home or caught up with work at the office, or live far away. It reduces the need to travel, saving you time and money.
Decrease exposure to infectious diseases
Online Physiotherapy requires no social contact thereby decreasing your exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Cost effective treatment
Online consultations are cheaper than normal physiotherapy sessions, making it more affordable to see a physio.
It empowers the patient
Movement and empowering yourself truly bring healing. Physiotherapy has evolved so much over the years. Focus is shifting from a physio-dependent practice to a patient-empowering practice. Self-treatment techniques empower the patient, making them less dependent on the physiotherapist. Patients need to realize that they can play a big role in treating their own pain. The human body is so amazing that it can heal itself when you do the right exercises and techniques.
It is safe
Many patients worry that it won’t be safe to treat themselves, but please remember your physio will guide you during the process and choose techniques that will be safe and effective for your individual situation.
How can physio treat without touching the patient?
We start with a proper evaluation
The success in a physiotherapy session lies in the ability of the physio to do a thorough evaluation of the patient. The history and onset of pain and symptoms can give many clues about the type of injury a patient has. Treatment will focus on sorting out the cause of the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms.
Objective and baseline tests help to confirm the diagnosis. Physios are experts at analysing movement and picking up compensation patterns that contribute to the problem.
Once the cause of the problem is determined, we can start to treat it with self-treatment techniques and exercises.
There are various treatment techniques that can be very effective over an online consultation.
- The McKenzie Method
- Mulligan self-motivation
- Total Motion Release (TRM)
- Be Activated self-activation techniques
- Warm water bottles or ice treatments
- Advise on pain relief
Your physio will decide which type of treatment is best for your individual needs. Please take note that not all physios are trained in these specific types of techniques. Therefore, each physio will use their own discretion and clinical knowledge to treat a patient.
Home exercise program
Physios are experts when it comes to exercise therapy. Exercise programs can start from the acute phase and progress all the way to the final rehabilitation phase. Sports physios can take athletes back to the sports field with the most up-to-date exercise and rehabilitation programs.