As the rest of the world continues to evolve with advances in technology, we in the medical community have also had to find avenues in which to effectively incorporate the same technology into our field. One term you’ll be hearing about more and more over the next few years is the advent of E-medicine, or digital medicine.

E-medicine utilizes video conferencing as a way to evaluate and assess basic injuries and conditions in a convenient and affordable manner. At SRC we offer online physical therapy consultations and follow up visits as an efficient and convenient way to provide medical advice to those who don’t necessarily have access to quality specialists or who simply want a more convenient option besides going into a PT or MD clinic.

By utilizing Skype and Facetime as a medium, SRC therapists are able to provide basic evaluations of movement patterns, combined with a comprehensive subjective exam, in order to give clients the tools and resources to effectively manage their injuries. While the exam process does have limitations by eliminating the “hands-on” component of a clinic assessment, it can be extremely effective as a means to get people safe medical advice on basic conditions and get them moving in the right direction. If the injury is something that does require a more extensive assessment, necessitating a clinic visit, we will be happy to direct you to the appropriate specialist.

How often do you hear the following comments from friends of family members?

“I wonder if I need an X-ray”
“I wonder if I should be icing this injury or using heat”
“Is this injury going to require me to see an orthopedist”
“Hopefully if I just take it easy, this will get better soon, but I don’t really know”
“The surgeon didn’t really tell me what to do once I home from surgery”

These comments are exactly what we want to be able to address with our clients.

Let’s use the most recent personal example to demonstrate the effectiveness of the E-medicine model. My friend Rick calls me 3 days after pulling his hamstring during a softball game and wants to know if it is a bad idea to try to play on it during the upcoming weekend. He informs me that he’s been icing and using e-stim “around the clock” since his injury but it’s still uncomfortable to walk and he’s been too afraid to do anything else because he wants it to be in the “best condition possible” by the next game.

I inform Rick, that if he continues managing his injury with his current plan, he has no business playing at the next game and he’s highly likely to re-injure his hamstring. Instead, we did a 20 minute video consultation to assess how bad the hamstring injury was, I instructed him to discontinue his current treatment of ice and e-stim, had him get on the bike 2x/day, and prescribed an appropriate exercise regimen to optimize his recovery. Our treatment was a success and he was able to play the following weekend and we’ve followed up once more to instruct him on how to further progress his rehabilitation over the next month to avoid re-injury.

This is a perfect example of Rick, a schoolteacher in Texas who didn’t have time during his work week for a clinic visit to a PT or MD, utilizing the technology at his fingertips to access his health care providers. This goes to show you how beneficial 45 minutes of consulting online can be, even when you’re 3 states away.

If you’re in need of an orthopedic consultation involving anything from assessing an acute injury, to post-operative surgical rehabilitation guidance, or managing ongoing pain, please utilize SRC’s services in our Denver or Vail clinic or online to maximize your recovery and get the best help available.

Feel free to call us at 855-437-6444 or email me at brad@sportsrehabconsulting.com for additional information.

Author: Brad Schoenthaler, PT, MS, OCS