Are you wondering how physiotherapy consultations are performed online? Are you curious to see if they could work for your injury?
In 2008 I moved to East Timor, a developing nation near Indonesia. I moved there for love, and I had to keep myself busy while my boyfriend (now husband) worked with the Australian Army.
As qualified Australian Physiotherapists, my husband and I set up East Timor’s first ever Physiotherapy practice. Our wonderful patients were the thousands of expatriates living and working in East Timor, to develop the nation following its time of conflict.
After 3 years in Timor, it was time to move back to Australia. It was with great sadness that we realized that thousands of people would now be without quality injury management.
I said to my husband “Most of these people just need a qualified ear to listen to their symptoms, come up with a diagnosis, and generate a rehabilitation plan for them. They are more than happy to manage their own injury, they just want to know what is causing it, and what they need to do to get it better…
…I reckon I could do all that online.”
My husband, in his infinite wisdom, said “Do it. You should just do it”.
With that, plus a crash course in working with a website developer, Online Physio was born.
Although the health industry and health consumers are now more open to the concept of ‘telehealth’ than when Online Physio started, the most common question we get asked is still
“How do online physiotherapy consultations work?”
Physiotherapy as a whole has moved away from a reliance on complex machines and manual techniques, and more towards quality education and supervised rehabilitation plans. This translates surprisingly well to the online format, and there is extensive research evidence to support this.
Research has shown that online physiotherapy consultations can be a safe and effective way to manage injuries.
Pretty cool huh?
So what is the process?
Once you have selected your consultation type, you will be led to a friendly online form that will guide you through all of the questions required for us to start learning about your injury. Once you send this form, your payment is processed, and your physiotherapist will review your answers.
The physio will then send you some follow up questions. These are physical tests that we guide you to safely perform on yourself. There are plenty of opportunities for you to add information, upload investigation reports and ask questions. Our focus is on helping you to share as much information as possible about your injury so that we are well equipped to give you the best possible care.
Once you submit this additional information, you will be prompted to book your video consultation, if you wish to have one (it is optional). In the video call, your physio will explain to you what your diagnosis is, and what your recovery process will be.
If a video call is not possible due to poor internet, lack of video equipment or a bad hair day, we have many other digital pathways to convey this information to you.
Your rehabilitation plan will be sent to an app on your smartphone. This app provides you with video explanations of all of your exercises, and has educational information specific to your injury. It allows you to rate your pain each day, and set reminders to exercise. It even includes a messaging feature for easy ongoing communication with your physio regarding questions and progressions.
Three major website upgrades later, Online Physio is a far more streamlined service provider today that when it started. We have helped people from all corners of the globe to manage their injuries and return to doing the things they love to do.
Online physio consultations are safe, easy and effective. You do not need any specialized equipment, just an internet connection and a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
It is surprising to some just how many injuries can be effectively managed online. At the end of the day, if we feel that your injury is not suitable for a consultation in the online format, we will be sure to let you know.