Can you treat patients over video?

Not sure whether you noticed, but times are strange at the moment….

One of the weirdest things is that I get to the end of the day and my hands don’t ache from working with patients. Which is great in some ways – I can actually oppose my right thumb to my little finger, genuinely can’t remember the last time I could do that – but is also a constant daily reminder that the clinic is not open as normal.

But the clinic is still open, just in a virtual, rather than physical sense.

Which leads us to the original question – can you treat patients over video?

Well, no. Not in the traditional sense. It’s very hard to assess a structure you can’t feel. We can’t perform any manual therapy techniques. We can’t employ any therapist led massage techniques.

So as a patient, what is even the point?

If you have seen us before you’ll know that a large portion of what we do is based in education and rehabilitation. Hands on work (manual therapy, massage) is only a small portion of the process of improving your symptoms. For example, if you see us for a 45 minute appointment once a fortnight, there’s 20,115 minutes left before your next appointment. Percentage wise, what we do with our hands is minimal in comparison to the behavioural changes and rehabilitation work we ask you to implement. That’s not to say that manual work is a pointless task, just that improvements in your injury status are more self driven than therapist driven and it is therefore our job to empower you with the knowledge and understanding to improve your symptoms. It’s why your biggest take home messages from us will always be what is wrong with you, why it is wrong and what you need to do to fix it.

The old “what, why, what” protocol (I’ve only just made that up, copyright inbound…)

And the great news is that the “what, why, what” is precisely how we have been approaching our video appointments. Obviously there is the caveat that it is hard to be 100% accurate with our what and why without being able to see and feel injured structures, which is where our clinical reasoning skills become vital. They allow us to assess and diagnose symptoms to the best of our understanding, within the confines of the relevant information, to produce a safe and effective intervention.

So to answer the question, yes, we can treat patients over video, just not in the traditional sense. There is a larger bias towards education and exercise as an intervention and sometimes a clinical choice to be more conservative with our approach than we would ordinarily be as we do not have the context of actually feeling the injured structure.

Here’s what some of our patients have been saying about our virtual appointments:

“Already feels a bit better after a few stretches”

“Thanks very much for this session – very very useful.  Am grateful.”

“You’ve put me on the right track now”

Why not check out this video we shot to further explain what we’re doing to help you through our virtual appointments

Got any questions? Want to know whether we can help your injury or improve your symptoms?
Why not drop us an email to discuss how we can help put you on the right track?

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