Clinical Conversations

A quarantine story: Patient perspective

“When quarantine began, I was in the middle of treatment for elbow, back and neck injuries caused by a December motor vehicle accident. I began lobbying my PIP carrier for tele-health sessions and ultimately received approval. They agreed to consider the treatments as if they occurred “in office.”

I have been able to consult with Nick about the body part causing the most pain at the time of the appointment. He has been able to review my exercises with me and modify them to decrease pain. He has worked with me to determine whether or not I am pushing too much or not enough to strengthen muscles. He can give me new exercises and check that I am executing them properly.

Nick has been able to watch me perform my lumbar and thoracic exercises. I adjust the camera so he can watch me while I am on the floor or bed. We can discuss the range of movement, how my pain levels are in comparison to my last in-person appointment and whether I am still performing the exercises correctly. He has inquired about my pain levels before and while exercising and modified the exercises I do to get better results.

For my neck, I can come closer to the camera to point out the exact part of my neck that is causing a problem. He can give me instructions on manual manipulation, heat and arnica for pain relief. He checks to see whether or not the pain is reducing or increasing while the exercises are being performed.

I am learning to better describe the site of pain, understand how the muscles respond to the exercises and how I can adjust what I do as I get stronger without creating a new problem. I can discuss whether or not I am overdoing an exercise and how to handle an exercise that suddenly causes a new pain.

Nick continues to evaluate, re-evaluate my progress and provide additional exercises or instructions as needed. We have a plan for increasing my stamina by using an exercise bike. There are still sites which need manipulations and pressure that can only occur in person. Until widespread testing and tracking occur, I must remain in quarantine due to my age and my asthma. While I would prefer in person visits, I have found tele-health to provide me with the best option for continuing treatment under quarantine conditions.” Bernadette