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What to Expect During Virtual Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

By Alison Ribeiro (she/her), Physiotherapist - Pelvic and Orthopaedic

Alison Ribeiro, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, answers questions on what you can expect during a virtual/online pelvic floor session.

Hi everybody, my name is Alison Ribeiro and I am one of the physiotherapists working at West End Mamas. I work out of the York Region location up in Newmarket, however, of course with the way that things are right now that really doesn’t matter. The beautiful thing about that is that we are offering online virtual appointments for those of you that still need assistance or have questions.  We would love to help you and answer those.

Today I just wanted to talk to you a little bit about what to expect in an online session. Some of you might have a lot of questions about how can it even be helpful so hopefully, this will help answer some of those questions for you.

First off after you book your session online you will receive an email from the system reminding you about the booking. You will also receive an email from me reminding you that your session is about to come up. And in that email, I do outline a couple of troubleshooting tips that you might want to try out beforehand just to make sure that you’re able to access the online system but it really is super simple. All you really have to do is log on to your Jane account and hit begin under the appointment slot. So it really is very simple but if there are any issues we do have a little troubleshooting guide linked in that email that you can access if need be. We do recommend if you can try to test out logging on, the link does become active about an hour before your appointment time so if you’re able to test it out first that’s fantastic. If not, that’s okay try and give yourself a couple of minutes beforehand just in case though.

Anyway, once your appointment time comes up I, or whoever you’re seeing we will log on and you will just see us pop up on a screen. It really is almost like you’re doing a FaceTime or a zoom call. You’ll be able to see us on screen and it is a video call. The system that we do use is 100% compliant with the health information protection act so while there obviously are still some risks about your privacy information, this one is 100 percent compliant with what we are quite required to have for us as health practitioners in order to have these online sessions. That hopefully eases some of your concerns, if you have any about that.

Once we are logged on to the session initially we will go through a specific online consent because obviously, the session is a little bit different or a lot different from what would happen during an initial session in the clinic. We will go through some consent specific to it being an online session. Just to make sure that you truly understand what is involved in the process at that point, of course, you are more than welcome to ask any questions and you’re happy to answer those for you. So that you feel 100% comfortable doing the online session. Once we’ve cleared all of that we delve into it.

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Really, the initial part is we’re just gonna chat. We’re going to talk about what your concern is, what your goals are, what you’re experiencing. We will listen to what you have to say what your story is, we will ask a couple of questions just to clarify some things for us. To help us [you know] clinically reason through your specific situation.

Then once we’ve gone through that whole portion and chatting, then we do move on to doing some type of objective measures. This is the part that really is very different from in the clinic. In the clinic we would kind of take you through some range of motion, maybe by doing it ourselves but obviously in a virtual session that’s not possible. So what ends up happening is we will describe to you how we want you to move, what types of positions we want you to get into, and then you’ll just have to report back to us how you feel, what you’re feeling, and whatnot. That will still give us a lot of really great information that we can then combine with your story and your concerns to then come up with a treatment plan for you.

It is recommended that you allow yourself some space around your computer, your phone, wherever you’re accessing the session on. That you will be able to set up so that we can still see you clearly but you have the opportunity and space to move around in terms so that we can assess as best we can in terms of that. Once we’ve gone through that objective assessment and we combine that with what you’ve told us your story. Like I said we then will go through tons of education so that is a huge huge part and that does not change, that is the same in-clinic as it is virtually. You still get a lot of really excellent information to help you move forward with your concern and reach your goals. Once we go through that education, that will also include likely some exercises and whatnot. Again, we will walk you through exactly what we want you to do how to do it, we’ll have you practice a couple of times during the virtual session so we can see that you are doing it well and correctly.

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Now, of course, this is different because we can’t be placing our hands on you to see if you’re breathing well or properly or encourage you in a movement in the right way. So it will just be more description, right, we’ll just have to describe in a lot more detail how we want you to move and how we want you to be experiencing the exercise.

So again, it’s different but we still are able to accomplish a lot of things in these virtual sessions which I’m super excited about. I’m so glad that we have this option, that we can continue to serve those of you who want some support and need some help during these times. We are so happy that we can do this.

Once we’re done with going through the exercises, I do like to send you a recap email of the session so it details some of the specific educational notes that we talked about during our session. As well as, the exercise prescription that I would like for you to continue doing. Then after that, we can book follow-up treatments, check-in, and see how things are going. You can always ask any questions, bring up any concerns that you have because again we want this to be an opportunity for you to learn, as well as, to apply some of these things that we’re telling you so that you can then benefit in the long run.

Okay, so I hope that that gives you a little bit of information about what a virtual session involves. I hope that if you have any questions please feel free to reach out prior to the session but if you know it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. See how it goes and again most insurance providers are now covering these virtual sessions as well. Which we are so happy about because it is definitely needed at this time.

Thanks for taking the time to listen. I hope this answers some of your questions about what is entailed in a virtual physio session. If you have any questions, please reach out.

Otherwise, hope to see you on the other side. Take care, bye.

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