Medical Musings, Health Hypotheses & Therapeutic Thoughts
Osteopathic telehealth, that is, consultations over video conferencing (Skype is a well-known example), is a bit of a tricky one. Osteopathy is rightly known and appreciated for its strong hands-on component, ‘magic hands’ that go a long way towards alleviating a sore back or twisted knee.
So how does telehealth for osteopathy work?
Thorough History & Assessment
Osteopathy is more than the combination of skilled practitioners and manual techniques. The founder of osteopathy (A. T. Still) said that “Osteopathy is a philosophy”, meaning that is is more than a treatment - it is a way of looking at the individual as a whole, rather just the sore area.
Over a video call, osteopaths take still a thorough and detailed history by asking you lots of questions. In asking you to perform certain movements and carry out some simple tests, we can actually get a lot of information about what may be going on.
From our video assessment, we will be able to work out if your issue is something that you can self-manage in your own home, or whether you need to have further investigation done by going in to see a medical doctor (or osteopath, when it is safe to do so).
Exercise Management Program
Your osteopath can give you relevant exercises that you can perform at home, while maintaining your physical distancing measures!
Most of my patients will know of my strong interest in, and support of, self-management, and I feel a very bittersweet smugness at knowing that those I have seen over the last seven years will be as well-prepared as you can be for self-management over a potential coronavirus lockdown. I often pose to my patients the hypothetical question “what happens if you can’t see your osteopath??” as part of my rationale for giving you all so many exercises!
Even without the face-to-face assessment and treatment that people rightly associate with osteopathy, we can still help you to manage your issues in these uncertain times. No-one under lockdown can complain about not having enough time to do their self-management strategies!
It is important to recognise that poor sleep, nutrition, work/home stresses and strains etc. contribute significantly to the sorts of problems people come to see an osteopath. It's not hard to see how the stressful environment we are living in my contribute to our pain!
Osteopathy is a university degree/honours level program, and in the course of the extensive training we will cover nutrition, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, sleep and breathing issues, and a host of other related areas of theory and practice. Osteopaths can offer general advice and, if necessary, refer out to appropriate specialists (if we feel any of these issues are impacting on your presenting problem) while keeping to our areas of competence and expertise. For those of you who don't know how I feel about professionals of any stripe who do that, head over to our blog to find out!
So if you have an issue that has been bothering you, why not book an online telehealth consultation with your osteopath today, and get some practical advice on what you can do?
UPDATE Mon 23/03
We have expanded our request not to attend your appointment if you or anyone you live with have any respiratory symptoms, even if you do not have a fever.
We are now also offering telehealth sessions, that is, consultations over video chat. This will enable us to assess you, and give you advice, without vulnerable people being exposed by leaving the house.
Please consult with your health fund to see if rebates are available for telehealth services.
Video chat sessions will be charged at $50/session. This represents 50% off a standard treatment to keep costs as low as possible in these uncertain times.
Under the current circumstances, people are obviously a bit worried, and may be wondering whether or not they should be visiting their osteopath.
This update outlines the actions we are taking to protect clients and osteopaths at from exposure to infection with the COVID-19:
Screening all patients before attending
All clients and osteopaths are asked to not attend the clinic if:
Arrival at the clinic
Changes to the rooms and treatment
Changes to payment
Social distancing measures
These are things that we can (and should) be doing, even before any official quarantines etc. are called.
In developing the above procedures, we have drawn on advice from Osteopathy Australia, the North West Primary Health Network, the Department of Health and Moreland General Practice.
We are aware that this is a very stressful time and are committed to support our patients through this period. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss any of the above.
Dr Edmund Bruce-Gardner (Osteopath)
NOTE: a blog on the internet should never be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any queries or concerns about the information in this blog, please contact your healthcare professionals.
I imagine there are few people who have not heard about the coronavirus (officially SARS-CoV-2) situation, with cases of COVID-19 in sixty-seven countries and territories around the world, but I thought I would write an update about how it affects us in Coburg, Brunswick, and the inner north of Melbourne.
While some of us worked more or less the whole way through the holiday season like poor Soraya, others of us were lucky enough to actually go away on holiday for the end of the year.
Either way, welcome to a shiny new decade!
I only started work today, and am writing this blog under the watchful eye of my daughter (we now have to march to the beat of the drum of the school holidays), so it’ll be short!
What are your goals for the 2020?
This should be a time to reflect, and plan. But don’t be hard on yourself! Don’t say “I have to get fit/learn a language/lose weight” etc. Say “I want to feel stronger/expand my horizons/feel more confident in myself (etc.)”, and work from there.
Go back and reread our blog Spring Into Spring™, which has a few pointers on setting goals.
And if you need a hand with anything, whether it be a new exercise regime or a nagging old injury, give us a call or book online today!
We live in a time of unprecedented access to information, with almost the sum knowledge of humanity seemingly only a few clicks away on the internet.
This is almost a problem, because with the huge amount of (often contradictory) information out there, how do you know who and what to trust?