With our nation just over a month into lockdown and with few signs that things will change any time soon, what can you do if you’re struggling with pain or discomfort in your body? Well, we’ve been running online physio consultations for a while now and have asked one of our team to provide an overview on what to expect. Please read on to find out more.
I have been using the app ‘Zoom’ for my online consultations for a while now. It’s free and I send clients an email with an individual meeting link.
Initially I would start by checking your details, date of birth, address, medical history etc. I would then take a full history of the presenting condition and the factors that are likely to influence the problem. These would include location of the symptoms, when it started, any changes to normal loads/exercises, was it from trauma or a gradual onset, how does it present through a 24hour pattern and what management strategies have you tried so far. All these questions formulate a picture and help me as a therapist to develop a hypothesis of the potential problem and causative factors.
The next step is to test this hypothesis of the problem with some movement analysis; this would include some functional activities such as squats, lunges, bending, lifting arms above head. This allows me to see any loss of joint range and to see how the neuromuscular patterns of movement are working. Initially you have to play around with the camera angles to get the appropriate picture and tweak it occasionally and hopefully the client has enough space to move.
After the visual assessment we would discuss what the likely problem is. There are obvious limitations to not being able to palpate a joint and have the physical contact that we would have normally, but so much can be achieved over an online consultation. Healing times, pain behaviours, goal setting and an appropriate, unique rehabilitation plan can then be discussed and formulated.
Following this, demonstration of the exercises to make sure you are completing them correctly will be undertaken. It is important to make sure that exercise prescription is correct, for example how many repetitions, sets, intensity and rest periods are needed. Too little and you are unlikely to make the best improvement to strength, too heavy or too many repetitions and you are likely to aggravate the symptoms, so it is well worth testing this out during the session. As therapists our main goal is to improve your confidence in how you use your body to allow you to get back to your specific functional goals, so these exercises will be tailored to you.
We are aware that life goes on and injuries still happen despite being in a ‘lockdown’ situation, so please contact us to book an online physio consultation if you have a new injury or recurrence of something or for any general advice. We’re here to help.