Physiotherapy is an essential service…
…but because it can often be so hands-on (meaning that it requires personal contact) it is not social-distancing friendly.
This means that a lot of people who can benefit from Physiotherapy, and a lot of people who were already receiving it, have not been able to access our services as Physiotherapists.
Though we have temporarily closed our physical doors in order to help flatten the curve and do our part for social distancing, there are other things we can do for our patients!
Though Physiotherapy often has a hands-on component, a vital component of it is also education and exercise-based. When I first meet patients, I often tell them that about 70% of that’s going to get them to full recovery is their exercises. It doesn’t have to be an hour at the gym, but a small number of targeted exercises (specific to their issue) done consistently (usually at home!) can help recover strength, mobility, and function, while reducing pain.
When patients come see us, they are seeing us usually 1-3x week, based on their need. But what about the rest of their time spent at home or at work? They don’t come see us every day even if their pain is daily. This is why we give home exercise programs. You see… a portion of your physiotherapy is already happening… when you are at home!
As people improve, they may notice that often we do less of the hands-on work, or less of the modalities (acupuncture, Ultrasound, taping, hot packs, etc.), and focus more on the active stuff… exercises! Your recovery is a spectrum, and as you get closer to getting back to normal, you don’t need as much of the hands-on work or modalities that reduce symptoms; you need your body to get back to moving in a healthy and painfree way.
This means that a lot of our patients can still benefit from Physiotherapy… virtually! While in-person is often ideal, we are fortunate to live in a world of Internet, mobile devices, and cameras, all of which allow consultations and meetings to be able to happen in real-time… online! Because all you really need for Telerehab is:
- Computer (preferably a mobile device such as your smart phone, tablet, or laptop; although a desktop can work as well)
- Camera and microphone (webcam, phone camera, built-in laptop or tablet camera)
- Comfortable clothing and a small space you can move around in wherever you are
Our virtual Palermo Physiotherapists located in Ontario have all of the above in their home workspaces as well, ready to connect when you need it!
What you can expect:
- You can ask all the same questions you would have asked in-person at the clinic, so we can provide education / recommendations for self-management (same as we would have in clinic)
- We will ask you to perform certain movements / activities so that we can assess your mobility, strength, and symptoms (same as we would have in clinic)
- Based on your issue, we can show you ways to self-mobilize and self-massage
- We can add / progress your home exercise program
- Bonus: Any ergonomic issues you’ve been having at home, now you can actually show us! This way we can make suggestions in real-time, instead of waiting until our next visit to know if the advice worked for you
- We can take you step by step through a more active treatment of self massage, self mobilization, stretches, strengthening and balance exercises
But… is this going to work for you specifically? Well, if you or anyone you know fall into the following categories, then yes! This is not an exhaustive list so email us for more info:
- Neck/shoulder/headache/midback/low back tension issues that have a postural cause or contribution… while hands-on work definitely helps, for well-rounded rehab it is also important to include stretching and postural exercises, ergonomic education, self-release methods, education on ice/heat/home TENS units
- Discogenic low back pain: yes, traction helps. But so do the home exercises meant to reduce the discogenic symptoms on a daily basis. Positioning and self-management education are also key.
- Osteoarthritis (OA) of almost any joint: strengthening is often the most important thing needed to return to function and help long-term. Additionally, we can show self-mobilizations when range of motion is limited, provide education on rest vs use/ice vs heat/positioning including during sleep/bracing
- Post-operative: total hip/knee replacements once you are discharged from hospital, ligament tears, rotator cuff repairs, mastectomies when shoulder mobility is affected, etc.
- Bone fractures once you are cleared to begin physiotherapy
- Prenatal Education and Fitness
- Ankle sprains: require education and a home exercise program to return to normal!
- Rotator cuff tendonitis…
- Tennis elbow… Golfer’s elbow…
- Muscle strains, e.g. hamstrings, quads, calves, back, etc…
- Shin splints…
- Patellofemoral knee pain….
- Pediatric rehab! Often, we show you games in clinic you can try with your kids that target gross and fine motor skills, in-toeing, toe walking, and other issues. Treatment of Osgood Schlatter’s, Sever’s disease, and other various growing pains is often exercise-based.
- Even torticollis! Often, we show you the daily stretches needed and follow-up with you in a few weeks to re-assess and progress as your little one grows bigger and stronger. We can still show / educate virtually.
- Concussion: as long as you can tolerate some screen time, we can still provide education on do’s and don’t’s, self-management, and a graduated plan for return to activity.
Still have questions? Contact us and ask!