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?