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Sep 22,2020

Telehealth in the real world

People have chosen Telehealth Exercise Physiology for a variety of reasons. Lets take a look at some real world examples and the benefits they derive and the challenges they’ve experienced.

Osteoporosis – Mrs P

Mrs P is a mid-sixties business executive who has been attending our clinic for the last 3 years. Her main health goal is to improve her bone density. Mrs P was diagnosed with Osteoporosis by her doctor and wants to reverse the condition as much as possible through activity avoiding long term medications. While working locally Mrs P was attending Living Energy Pilates and Rehabilitation once weekly, and was provided with a specially designed program of resistance training which she performed twice weekly at her local gym. Mrs P’s exercise program at the clinic consisted of Pilates based resistance training, functional training, and plyometric training for moderate to high impact bone loading activities.Β Early in 2020 Mrs P had a follow up bone scan and was thrilled that her bone density had improved significantly.

Since March 2020 she has been in social isolation, is working remotely and commuting to the clinic is no longer possible. Mrs P chose to continue her treatment via Telehealth once weekly. One of the great advantages of Telehealth is that the session is recorded, so she can repeat the session on her own by following the recording later in the week. Telehealth helps keep her family safe also, as she has a relative who is immune compromised and Telehealth keeps her COVID risk low.

One of the disadvantages is that she has limited access to weights for resistance training, and supply chain issues have delayed the arrival of the equipment she has ordered. So far she has been waiting 3 months for a delivery of resistance training equipment. Her Exercise Physiologist Rafael is creative with the equipment that Mrs P has access to, to ensure the exercise treatment continues to deliver the health outcomes she is after.

Mrs P plans to continue her Telehealth sessions for the forseable future. For her the travel time to the clinic is prohibitive as she lives 50 minutes away. Telehealth enables her to continue her Exercise Physiology sessions from the comfort of home.

Multiple Sclerosis and Pain Management – Mr K

Mr K is a late-fifties allied health worker who has been attending our clinic for the last 9 years. Mr K suffers from neck, shoulder and back pain which he attributes to his sedentary role and many hours on the computer. He has previously attempted to address these issues using strength-based training, with mixed results. Β Mr K also struggles with significant obesity issues and recently informed us that he had been living with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) for over 20 years. Mr K’s exercise treatment is multi-pronged in its focus and aims to deliver a range of health benefits to address his needs. Mr K’s program consists of Pilates based resistance training, functional training and HIIT training. Over the years Mr K’s neck, shoulder and back pain have reduced and are well managed, the weight issues are more complex in nature and managing the fatigue secondary to MS is a long term goal.

Early in the pandemic Mr K went into self-isolation to reduce his COVID risk due to a compromised immune system. Since then Mr K has been attending Telehealth Exercise Physiology sessions once weekly, and attending virtual group classes once to twice weekly. Mr K is also performing his own daily exercise routine based on the recommendations of his Exercise Physiologist Rafael. Mr K enjoys the benefits of Telehealth sessions to reduce his COVID risk. Mr K has a range of fitness and pilates equipment at home that can be utilised during the Telehealth sessions. Mr K feels he gets value from his Telehealth sessions as it keeps him on track and accountable with his fitness, his Exercise Physiologist will also push him harder than he would normally push himself.

Given his immune compromised status Mr K acknowledges that it may be a very long time before he returns to attending face to face sessions again.

Ankle Rehabilitation – Mrs S

Mrs S is a mid-fifties retail worker who has been attending the clinic for the last 2 years. Mrs S has been attending Pilates sessions once weekly at the clinic for a year improving her core strength, fitness and posture. Then while on holidays in 2019 she fractured her ankle severely from a cycling accident. Once she got the plaster removed she started doing rehab at the clinic to restore her ankle range of movement and strength. Mrs S also needed to address all of the strength deficits and imbalances that were a result of being in a wheel chair for a while, then being on crutches, then in a boot.

Mrs S attended the clinic for as long as possible during the Pandemic, however Stage 4 lockdowns mean’t that that was no longer possible. Initially Mrs S attended Telehealth sessions once weekly as per her face to face clinic visits, as her travel time to the clinic meant coming in more frequently was difficult. However after the first month, Mrs S switched to shorter Telehealth sessions twice weekly. This suited her fitness routine better and provided valuable motivation and focus more often. Mrs S has a variety of fitness equipment in her home which can be utilised during the Telehealth sessions.

Mrs S plans to return to face to face sessions once restrictions are lifted.

 

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