At City Baths Spinal & Sports Medicine we continue to provide face-to-face consultations for our clients. However, the current circumstances relating to COVID-19 mean that this is not always possible. If you are required to self-isolate, or simply prefer not to leave the house, then our online video consultations can provide access to your physiotherapist during this time.
How can a physiotherapy be provided without being in the same room, without being able to put your hands on someone?
Physiotherapists do more than use their hands to fix someone’s problem. Hands-on treatment is only a part of what we do. We listen to you explain your problem and then ask a series of questions to make sure we have all the relevant information. We want to understand all of the details about your pain/injury so that we can determine the cause. We also go to great lengths to ensure that we rule out any serious causes of your pain, or red flags, that might warrant referral to a doctor. In certain circumstances, we may even provide you with a questionnaire to complete to help us form a better understanding of your pain/injury.
Once we understand all the specific details about your problem, we need to confirm or deny our suspicions about the cause. We are able to conduct a physical assessment by asking you to complete specific movements or tasks and observe how you perform. If your mobility is reduced, or you experience pain in a specific area, this can provide us with the information that we need to determine an accurate diagnosis. If imaging is required, or the involvement of a doctor or surgeon is necessary, we can provide the relevant referrals to you electronically.
Once we have a diagnosis, we can give you advice on how best to manage your problem or answer any specific questions that you may have. For example:
- Should you continue to exercise or take a break from your regular activities? If so, what type of exercise, how much and how often.
- Should you use a brace or crutches?
- Is ice or heat preferable?
- Should you discuss pain relief with your doctor or pharmacist?
The right advice can result in a quicker recovery and minimise any further aggravation of your pain.
A physiotherapist can also provide you with a tailored exercise program to help with your issue. This could include some specific stretches or strengthening exercises to help resolve your pain or rehabilitate an injury. For example: Since commencing work from home due to recent COVID-19 restrictions, you start experiencing some back or neck pain. You suspect this is the result of sitting too much during the day and poor home office setup. In this instance, a physiotherapy assessment and tailored exercise program may help you resolve your pain quickly without the need for a visit to the physiotherapy clinic. We could also provide some advice about your workstation setup. In fact, a telehealth consultation is excellent for this as you can show us your home office instead of having to describe it to us.
There are some obvious benefits to being able to interact in-person and place our hands on a client. Manual therapy (hands-on treatment) is perhaps the biggest of these, and whilst it is undoubtedly beneficial, a physiotherapist can provide numerous other evidence-based treatments when manual therapy is not possible.
It is also worth noting that online physiotherapy consultations have been recognised by Medicare, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) and numerous private health insurance companies. This means that for eligible individuals, online physiotherapy consultations can be bulk-billed through Medicare and DVA and will attract for a rebate from most private health insurers.
So, if you are experiencing pain, or simply want to maintain your physical health during these challenging times, a telehealth consultation with your physiotherapist is convenient and more beneficial than trying to figure it out for yourself.
Online consultations can be booked through our website, citybathssportsmedicine.com.au or by calling our reception team on (03) 9639 2286.