Physio is basically hands-on right? Manipulation, massage, joint cracking, muscle stretching, fancy machines and all that stuff. Well, that is often how the popular press portrays it, but modern physiotherapy can be very different and can include remote physiotherapy. If you ask most patients what they really want from their consultation they will often say that it is to understand what is wrong with them. The practical aspects of the treatment are often of secondary importance because they can be temporary. Knowledge is long lasting, reassuring, and guides recovery.
Knowledge is long lasting, reassuring, and guides recovery.
What is remote physiotherapy?
We live in a high-tech age, where you can chat to your grandchildren on the other side of the world on an iPad. You can hear them, see them and interact with them for prolonged periods at very little cost. This technology can be used in medicine as well. If you live in the remote outback and get a snack bite, you can contact a Doctor online who can see the bite, ask you to describe the snake and give you vital information about what action to take. This is what we offer with remote physiotherapy (sometimes called virtual physiotherapy or intellihealth) – not for snake bites, but for bad backs, creaky knees, stiff shoulders and other aches and pains. Remote consultations have become more necessary in the Covid-19 pandemic. Most clinics operate a ‘virtual first’ policy which means your first appointment (consultation and triage) will be via computer, smartphone, or telephone.
By asking questions and discussing your problem with you we can recognise patterns which indicate what is wrong. We can ask you to perform special movements and look at how you move, noticing what you are able to do and what is hard for you. Over a 20-30-minute appointment we can gradually build up a view of your problem. Once we have this information, we can target your specific problem, giving simple self-help procedures. We can instruct you on what to do and importantly what to avoid, suggesting alternatives to make life easier. If appropriate we can guide you on specific exercises to gradually re-strengthen weak muscles and gently move stiff joints. All the time we are watching what you do and coaching you on the way you are moving and how you are performing an action. Because you may be asked to perform different movements, wear shorts and a tee-shirt or similar clothing. Additionally, this is your time so be in a quiet room (TV off and phone on silent) and try to keep pets and young children under control. You are welcome to have someone (friend or family member) with you if you wish.
Good and not so good.
Obviously, this service does not allow us to use hands on techniques or physiotherapy machines, so clinic appointments will always be better in many ways. However, if you have a painful back or wonky knee, coming to the clinic can be awkward, so the advantage of a remote service is that you get our treatment in the comfort of you home, avoiding travel. Remote physiotherapy is neither better nor worse than face to face treatment – it is just different!
Remote physiotherapy is neither better nor worse than face to face treatment – it is just different
Starting the process
Initially you need to contact us to book an appointment – you can phone on 01260 290564 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org Once your appointment time is agreed we will send you an email with will contain a clickable link to the Zoom programme. Don’t worry if you have not used this before as there is a brief video below which talks you through the procedure. Take a few minutes to watch the video, and check you have your email. Try to set everything up about 10 minutes before your appointment. Here is a brief checklist to ensure things go smoothly
- email received from Norris Health with clickable link or use the meeting I.D. and password given over the phone if you are familiar with Zoom
- Set things up – quiet room with good lighting. Dress appropriately. Pets and children controlled. TV off and phone on silent
- Test your microphone and webcam if on a computer or laptop. These should work automatically for tablets and smartphones.
- When in the Zoom programme make sure your microphone is NOT MUTED (no red line through microphone icon) and your WEBCAM is ON (no red line through video icon).
A bit more info?
There are two videos to watch. The first takes you through how to perform a zoom meeting, the second is more general about remote consultations.
How to conduct a Zoom meeting by Dr Chris Norris here Norris Health on YouTube
What is a virtual consultations by Dr Chris Norris Norris Health on YouTube
To discuss this service or book an appointment phone us on 01260 290564, email on email@example.com or fill in our online contact form on this link http://www.norrishealth.co.uk/skype-consultancy/