Virtual care is an effective alternative for those who do not have convenient access to a physical clinic location. This ‘Connected Care Story’ focuses on a man from Newfoundland who was not able to seek treatment at a physical location due to COVID-19, and instead used virtual care to relieve his back pain and reach his health goals.
Brent* was referred to CBI Health after being diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and lower back pain that was related to his job. Brent worked in Western Canada, but the pain he was experiencing was too difficult to manage, resulting in him leaving his job and moving back to his hometown in Newfoundland to be with his family. Due to COVID-19, and his geographical location, he was limited in his options for seeking physical treatment.
Brent was referred to CBI Health for virtual care and a customized treatment plan that he could participate in from the comfort of his own home. His kinesiologist was based in Nova Scotia but was certified to work across provinces, including Newfoundland, as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CSEP-CEP).
Brent’s main goals for seeking treatment were to decrease his pain levels and return to function. His initial assessment included walking up and down stairs, noting that his pain levels were a 5 out of 10 on even ground, and 7 out of 10 with stairs. He was slow to move and walk, and showed poor quality of movements, with a function score of 17.5 out of 100. One of Brent’s favourite hobbies was walking with his family and friends, something he hoped to be able to resume after his treatment, as he was only able to walk for about 7 minutes before the pain became too much to handle.
His treatment plan focused on strength and stability exercises for his lower back and building functional tolerances to help him get back to his regular activities. His kinesiologist worked with him through the exercises, using a “follow-the-leader” style, and used the tools and technology available to send his exercise plan virtually and monitor how he was following the treatment plan. Brent also completed a walking program that began with 5 to 7 minutes of low-intensity movement, and built up the time to progress and improve his tolerance.
The kinesiologist established a strong dialogue with Brent from the start, ensuring that if something did not feel right, they would correct it right away. They established rapport and built trust so that Brent felt confident in the exercises and his tailored treatment plan. Brent was excited about his progression and was very committed to the treatment from the start.
Brent was motivated and played an active role in his own recovery from the beginning. Now, at the end of his treatment program, Brent has reached a function score of 88 out of 100 and is able to walk for up to 30 minutes. He is able to walk up and down stairs independently with no pain.
Despite not being able to visit a physical clinic, Brent was able to seek effective treatment for his lower back pain and achieve his health goals through virtual care. He is very appreciative of the tailored virtual treatment plan and support, and is happy to have reached his goals and exceeded his progress expectations.
*Client’s name has been changed.