Little did I suspect when I booked an interview with Cary Chittley, Leaside’s virtual physiotherapist who left an 11-year job to launch his business, that I’d have an injury to discuss with him. I was prepared to dig deep and perform like a standardized patient, the type who acts out medical symptoms to train and test medical students. However, a few too many hours at the computer had my right wrist feeling tender. This permitted me to present actual symptoms to Cary, and what a lovely experience it was.
As he told me, “You’ll be assessed, diagnosed and receive a treatment plan all within approximately an hour. All from the comfort of your home.”
Virtual physiotherapy is a growing area of medical care nudged along by Covid. A University Health Network article provides case studies that support virtual physiotherapy as a valid and evidence-based method for assisting patients in staying on track with their rehabilitation treatment plans.
The testimonials on Cary’s website (www.caryphysio.ca) expressed what I experienced. He is generous with his time and knowledge. He ensured I was clear on the diagnosis, even showing me medical textbook photos and ensuring I understood the issue and treatment options. Cary even gave me a few minutes to collect some hockey tape so he could guide me through taping my wrist properly. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding, as I type this article with my healing wrist.
Cary’s credentials, depth of experience and caring nature boosted my confidence in virtual medical care. He also impressed me with how attentively and efficiently he explained his virtual physio process and my case, in a way that inspired me to further research my injury: triangular fibrocartilage complex. Right after our virtual appointment I explored the online links he provided, which supplemented the notes and treatment advice he sent me within an hour of our call.
When logging into our appointment, I had a small technical glitch. A quick email to Cary and he solved my issue and our appointment started and finished on time.
When asked if he has concerns for those in need of physio without the means or an extended medical plan to engage someone like him, he was eloquent. “Beyond reducing the environmental impacts of less driving, virtual appointments make it quicker and easier for those in pain to meet with their physiotherapist. I’m very committed to improving access to physiotherapy services for those in need by reserving, at minimum, 10 per cent of our appointments for those in need. Which I can offer, thankfully, as my virtual practice is very busy and has grown during the pandemic.”
Cary wrapped up our call by mentioning that “November is Fall Prevention Month.” So, with winter on the horizon, I plan to review the tips in the resources Cary mentioned and continue with my prescribed exercises to maintain my wrist strength.