What is Virtual Physiotherapy?

Have you found it challenging to take care of yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic? For a lot of individuals, the pandemic has had a major impact on their health and well-being. It can be incredibly hard to make self-care a priority in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic! One of the major impacts of the pandemic has been a reduced access to healthcare services, such as physiotherapy. With multiple lockdowns and stay at home orders, prioritizing your health has never been more challenging. For many reasons, the pandemic has made it difficult to attend healthcare appointments. As a result, many physiotherapists have started to offer virtual physiotherapy services. You’re probably wondering how this would work, as so much of physiotherapy is hands-on. Well, today we’ll discuss what virtual physiotherapy is and how it could work for you!

How does virtual physiotherapy work?

While a large part of physiotherapy involves hands-on techniques that a therapist might perform with you or to you, improved health outcomes can also be achieved without this. Many research studies have shown that the most effective parts of physiotherapy are actually the education and exercise. Lucky for us, we can address both of these critical factors through a video chat!

Virtual physiotherapy appointments are typically conducted through a video call, allowing your therapist to see your injury and guide you with self management. Virtual appointments will often be the same amount of time as regular physiotherapy sessions, as we cover just as much! Many clinics will also offer a consultation video call prior to a full assessment to discuss whether virtual therapy is a good option for your situation. In a select few cases, it may be necessary to receive in-person treatment. However, for the vast majority of cases virtual physiotherapy will be sufficient to accomplish your goals.

Much like an in-person physiotherapy assessment, a virtual appointment will allow your therapist to perform subjective and objective assessments of you and your injury. The subjective assessment will consist of a lot of discussion about you and your injury, as well as your goals and expectations with physiotherapy. For the objective assessment, your therapist will want to see the injured area. Your physiotherapist will also have you perform many different movements on camera, to allow them to gain an understanding of your current capabilities. Once the assessment is complete, your physiotherapist will discuss their clinical findings with you and the most appropriate treatment plan. As mentioned above, the treatment will consist mainly of education and exercise.

How should I prepare for my virtual physiotherapy?

In order to make sure your virtual physiotherapy appointment goes well, it’s important to be prepared. One of the most important things to consider is wearing the appropriate clothing. Your therapist will want to see the injured area, as well as what movements you’re able to do. As such, it’ll be helpful to wear comfortable clothing that reveals the injured area without restricting any movement. If you have any exercise equipment available, ensure you keep it close by for your appointment. Your therapist will likely ask you to use your equipment to assess and/or treat your injury. Finally, make sure you’re in a room with ample space to move around for your virtual physiotherapy session. As mentioned, it will involve lots of different movements, so the more space you have the better! You may also want to consider how you can set up your camera to provide the best possible view for your physiotherapist. The more they can see, the better they will be able to help you.

How do I pay for my virtual physiotherapy?

Most clinics will allow you to pay via an email link or phone. If you have insurance coverage, it will be important to double check that they cover virtual physiotherapy appointments (most major insurance companies will).

Still not sure what to expect with your virtual physiotherapy session? Call us at 519-895-2020, or use our online booking tool on www.strivept.ca to book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable physiotherapists, and they will be sure to help you understand your injury. 


Liam Newlands
Physiotherapist at Strive Physiotherapy and Performance

Leave a Reply