Sometimes it just isn’t possible to get into the clinic to see your Synergy Physio in-person. That’s where our Virtual Physio services, also known as “Tele-Rehab” are a good fit. These sessions are very convenient and accessible as they are done from the comfort of your own home, saving you driving and traffic time.

What is Virtual Physio?

Virtual Physiotherapy is a session with your Synergy Physiotherapist provided via secure video link, using an internet browser. You don’t need to download any software – you just need to login to your regular patient account that you already have as a patient of the clinic. Your therapist will call you via video, and then your ConnectTherapy™ physiotherapy session will begin.

If you are a current patient of the clinic, and have already had an in-person assessment with your therapist, your therapist will then be able to:

  • get an update on how you are current feeling, what challenges you have with daily activities, how your exercises are going, and if you have any new goals you are working towards
  • find out how your ConnectTherapy “Self-Checks” are working, and if your “Reset” and “Preset” exercises are being effective to help you manage your symptoms
  • observe and analyze your movement patterns across several of your “Meaningful Tasks” – as our therapists are trained in the ConnectTherapy approach, they have highly trained visual & observation skills to be able to link your movement patterns with the symptoms you are experiencing and see how these relate to your “Drivers”
  • take you through a variety of treatment options – coach you through self-release and individualized cues and movements that will change the muscle activity throughout your body and optimize your Drivers and movement – ie. make you move and feel better!
  • coach you on the best way to self-manage using self-release, movement and other tools like breathing and meditation exercises, designed to specifically address your problem – in the most efficient use of your time
  • answer any questions or concerns you have and make a plan for next steps

What if I am a New Patient and have not had an In-Person Assessment before? Can Virtual Physio help?

Absolutely! There are many ways we can help and you will be surprised how effective we can be in a Virtual context.

With their ConnectTherapy training, the Synergy Physio team has extra and specialized skills in using their eyes and visual observation skills to determine what is happening in your body when you move, and specific tools to determine your “Drivers” – the key areas of your body to treat that allow us to unlock your movement potential – in the Virtual setting.

For your initial Virtual Physiotherapy session, this needs to include an extensive history and movement analysis. ConnectTherapy & the Thoracic Ring Approach are whole body frameworks, and we take into account not only your past injuries and surgeries, but also your exercise and sports history as these things contribute to how we develop our movement habits and patterns. Your initial Virtual Physio session will include your therapist:

  • asking about your symptoms, how they are affecting your daily life, your past movement and medical history, and discussing your goals and expectations from physiotherapy
  • assessing your movement and looking at how different areas of your body are functioning – both your symptomatic areas but also other regions of your body that might not be moving as well as they could, and might be contributing to your symptoms
  • using different interventions to change your movement and going through our ConnectTherapy Drivers Diagnostic to determine the most important areas of your body to design our treatment around – these are called your “Drivers” (for more information on ConnectTherapy, go to this page)
  • explaining the findings of the assessment and starting you on steps for self-management of your problem
  • discussing the next steps and treatment plan that will enable you to reach your goals

Online Synergy Physio has been a lifesaver for me! I had been struggling with thoracic/back issues for years causing escalating pain, anxiety, and breathing constriction; I had been to many providers over the years (chiropractor, massage, other physiotherapists), but all relief was only temporary. I was referred to Linda-Joy (LJ) Lee and her therapies, and was very optimistic when I saw her clinic offered remote physio treatments, as I live far from Vancouver and was not able to attend in person. The remote appointments have been incredible! She was able to observe and diagnose my body movement issues and maladaptive postures via video, and direct me through exercises and give me a regimen that has made me feel able to live my life again! I cannot believe how much relief I have received via a few video sessions, something that I was not able to accomplish with years of in-person treatments elsewhere! I am very thankful for the opportunity to attend remote appointments, and I look forward to continuing to work with this amazing clinic.

 Lana Hooley, Haida Gwaii

How Virtual Physio can Help if you have Pelvic Floor Problems – Men & Women

The first step to addressing both male and female pelvic health concerns is to talk about it. The pelvic floor is a very “private” part of your body, and because of this, many people may avoid talking about it due to stigma. Talking about your pelvic floor concerns with a Physiotherapist can help you gain more understanding of what exactly is going on “down there” and what you can do about it.

We would start your Virtual Physio session by discussing what you feel in and around your pelvic floor. Your therapist will then use this information to determine some strategies to manage your symptoms. These strategies may include:

  • Self-release techniques
  • Modification of your movement strategies and postures
  • Advice relating to activities
  • Pelvic floor education and strategies, including:
    • Bladder habits to address urgency and frequency
    • Optimal strategies for toileting – how to properly void and have a bowel movement
    • Perineal stretching and preparing for labour/birth
    • Self-release of scars (surgical, C-section, etc.)
    • Strategies to help with painful intercourse

What do I need? Is there any specific equipment or set-up?

You need to have a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone with an internet browser loaded that is either Google Chrome or Firefox. We use a secure, encrypted platform and currently these are the browsers that are supported. If you are using an iPhone or iPad you just need to download the “Jane Online Appointments” app from the App Store.

Once you have your browser open, you log in to your account with Synergy Physio + Pilates here: https://synergyphysio.janeapp.com/login

When it is time for your appointment, you will be able to join the Video call right from your account page.

If we have any technical difficulties, your therapist will switch to ZOOM to continue the session.

What to Wear:

This is just like your regular ConnectTherapy physiotherapy session, where your physio will be assessing and checking a variety of movements, so you need to wear clothes that are made for movement. As well, it’s important you wear clothing that allows your therapist to see as much of your body during movement as possible – so avoid baggy shirts. For women a normal bra or bikini top allow us to assess your thorax the best; just be sure it is something you feel comfortable in and is not restrictive.

Setting up your Space:

It’s important to have a think about where you will put your device so your therapist can observe your movement from your back, front and side views. As well, you need to be sure your space is big enough to move without hitting any obstacles.

Try to use a device that allows you to adjust the camera angle up and down, so your therapist can see different parts of your body as you are moving throughout the session.

Make sure the space is well-lit, ideally with the light source placed in front of you. Avoid areas where there is bright light behind you as this makes it hard for your therapist to see your body and movement.

If you can, choose a room that is quiet and distraction free so you can focus – this is your time!

It’s a good idea to pull together any exercise equipment you have at home and have it handy – your therapist will guide you as to what tools will help you the most. So if you have dumbbells, a yoga mat, yoga props (block, bolsters, straps, etc), pillows, small towels, resistance band or tubing – or any other tools at home – assemble them ready for your session. Your therapist will be definitely getting you to move!

Will My Insurance Cover Virtual Physio?

Several insurance companies already cover Virtual Physio / Tele-Rehabilitation services – and more insurers are updating their policies to add Tele-Rehabilitation coverage during the COVID-19 crisis. Currently it is our understanding that these insurers are covering TeleRehabilitation / Virtual Physio services and we can submit to these insurers on your behalf:

  • SunLife (dedicated information page for SunLife clients here:
  • Canada Life (Great West Life)
  • Manulife
  • Desjardins
  • Industrial Alliance
  • Claim Secure
  • Johnston
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • CINUP
  • Maximun
  • Manion
  • Group Health
  • Group Source
  • ICBC
  • Pacific Blue Cross – will cover subsequent visits (your initial visit needs to be in-person)
  • Medavie Blue Cross

We highly recommend that you contact your provider if you want to know if your specific plan covers Virtual Physio.

 

I am a senior Canadian citizen who has been a regular physiotherapy patient for a number of years.  When I returned to Vancouver two weeks ago from a trip to California, I was required to isolate myself for 14 days—therefore unable to have the benefits of my normal physiotherapy sessions.

Then I was offered the opportunity to participate in tele rehab, virtual physiotherapy, where my physiotherapist demonstrated what she wanted me to do, and then made suggestions and corrections while I was executing the exercise.

To my amazement, by the end of the session, I was more than satisfied that I had experienced the benefits of a normal face-to-face physio session.

I highly recommend Virtual Physio/ TeleRehab as a substitute in situations where you cannot attend the usual face-to-face physiotherapy session.

 Karin Vickars