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This ‘Connected Care Story’ focuses on a client in Nova Scotia who wanted to get back to an active lifestyle and heal his knee injury.

Gabe* is a middle-aged man with a busy life. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic he was unfortunately laid off work. Spending more time at home, Gabe was looking after his children and realized he wasn’t as in great shape as he thought he was. Spending all of his time at home with his family he was feeling the effects of stress on his mental health and wanted to start an activity that would help him take a break from his busy life. Gabe thought he would start jogging, hoping to improve his activity level and combat stress. He hadn’t jogged in years and soon realized that he had started too fast as he immediately strained the muscles in his knee.

After the injury, not only could he no longer jog but even walking was painful, and he wasn’t able to perform any of his daily activities or play with his children. He experienced inflammation that kept him up at night. Since he already had difficulties sleeping, this further increased his anxiety. He suffered a loss of range of motion in his knee, his leg extension was very limited, and he was limping. This increased Gabe’s stress levels even further.

He was initially unable to find someone to take a look at his injury due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Thankfully he heard from a friend that CBI Health was offering virtual care and that he would be able to participate in virtual sessions online. Gabe met with a physiotherapist virtually twice a week and began by learning about pain management and how to deal with stress. His physiotherapist initially helped calm him down, educated him about his injury, and discussed his recovery timeline and treatment plan.

As virtual care was a new idea to him, Gabe was initially a little hesitant but after his first session he calmed down and began enjoying his sessions, playing an active role in his recovery. He worked on quad stretches and static quad strengthening techniques. He also completed other strengthening exercises, such as squeezing a ball with his knees, doing quarter squats, and making sure he wasn’t pushing himself too much.

After his first treatment session, Gabe already saw an improvement in his sleeping patterns. He began a walking program, starting slow with short distances. He continued to progress with the distances he could walk, tracking landmarks in his neighbourhood to judge the distance. His goal was to get back to some sort of exercise program. Jogging was no longer as important to him as he enjoyed the walking program and just needed something to help him take a break, get his endorphins up, and de-stress.

By the fourth week of treatment, Gabe was able to get back into a light jog without feeling too much pain, and at week five he had achieved his goal of being able to exercise pain-free. Gabe continued with his at-home exercises and strengthening activities, even after he met his goals.

Gabe was appreciative of CBI Health’s virtual care option during a time in the pandemic that he found difficult to seek healthcare. He is now able to sleep well, get outside and exercise again, as well as play with his children and resume daily activities.

*Client’s name has been changed.