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Virtual Visits

What are Virtual Visits at Ottawa Physiotherapy & Sport Clinics?

Virtual Visits are a subset of what is often referred to as telehealth or telerehabilitation. It is physiotherapeutic care that is carried out remotely via video conferencing or some similar technology. Assessment, education and instruction can be successfully carried out through a remote visit in which you and your OPTSC physiotherapist work on identifying your issue and creating a game plan to reduce or eliminate discomfort and restore functionality. One on one videoconferencing allows your physiotherapist to develop the right plan for your recovery and monitor your progress as though you were in the same room.

When Are Visits Right For Me?

We have found that Virtual Visits can be extremely helpful in cases where we are trying to identify underlying musculoskeletal issues and resolve them with a carefully planned rehabilitation regimen. We are able to carry out an assessment and then educate the patient on contributing variables (what you should and should not be doing), develop an appropriate exercise plan that they can carry out on their own and help them develop an awareness to assess their own rehabilitative work and progress.

With that in mind, there are cases when mobilization and manipulation are integral to the successful outcome of the rehab. A quick call with one of OPTSC’s physiotherapists will allow us to gauge how effective a tool Virtual Visits can be to help you get on the path towards recovery. When used in the right situations, Virtual Visits can yield astonishing results in reducing or eliminating discomfort and restoring functionality.

What Can My Physiotherapist Accomplish With A Video Visit?

1. Assessment

A big part of what our profession does is figuring out what is wrong. We traditionally use tactile cues to help confirm our diagnoses but if you can think back to your past physiotherapy experiences, a significant amount of time is spent observing your movement patterns. A trained physiotherapist can often uncover likely causes of dysfunction through careful observation. Video calls allow us to observe, assess and help diagnose a wide range of injuries and conditions.

2. Customized Exercise & Rehabilitation Programs

Once we assess what the underlying issue is, we can then move on to the next step which is creating individually tailored rehabilitative routines to help diminish any pain and restore optimal functionality. Physiotherapists will walk you through the exercise regimen and refer you to online resources that will help you address underlying issues. We will observe the way in which you complete the exercises and ensure that you are doing them properly to get the full benefit.

3. Remedy Education & Lifestyle Modification

Based on the findings from our assessment, physiotherapists can help guide you to temporary changes that you need to make to facilitate recovery. For example, certain daily activities may be discouraged while you work at addressing a lower back issue. Beyond that, we may recommend some readily available measures to take to help with recovery. We may instruct you on the appropriate use of heat, cold or electrical stimulus on afflicted areas. We will educate you on the appropriate application of these modalities to once again maximize the benefit of their use.

The Technology

The technology deployed is common to most desktops/laptops and will not need any special hardware requirements. As long as your computer has a camera and microphone, you should be okay. We typically use the Zoom video conferencing platform but can accommodate other platforms if necessary. Should you need any assistance in getting set up, we can set up some time in advance of your first appointment to get you acclimatized.

Virtual Visits, The College Of Physiotherapists Of Ontario & Insurance Companies

Some of our patients have asked us where the governing body for physiotherapists and the insurance providers stand with respect to Virtual Visits. Our governing body supports the use of videoconferencing technology to allow for continuity of care and most insurance companies are offering coverage for visits as though they were taking place on site.