Why Telehealth Stinks


Dr. Justin Sullivan, PT, OCS, CFMT

Practically overnight, Telehealth has become the go-to method for delivering many healthcare services.  The transition is certainly a necessary evil during this pandemic, and while it can be made to work for the time being, the truth is: Telehealth Stinks.


Telehealth has quickly transformed the Healthcare system to one that is (by design) void of human experience or interaction – for everyone’s safety. However, I am a Manual Therapist and for me to offer the best care to a Client, I need to interact with them and use every sense when I assess them.  With Telehealth, we are relying on extremely limited information.  Without three-dimensional access to a Client’s body and a hands-on assessment, how can I gather the information I need to determine whether the ribcage, liver or nerve-bundle are responsible for a persons shoulder limitation?

So you don’t offer Telehealth?

Yes, we do offer Telehealth, but mainly for “Virtual” Consultations, which are typically 99% history-taking and education.  This can be easily performed virtually without missing too much or reducing the quality of service we can offer.

What about “Virtual” Treatments?

At Move Physio, we are integrated, Manual therapists. Each treatment session is based on the manual assessment of ALL the systems – that day.  Our treatments are never based on a random, general stretching program or exercise protocol. Since we can’t thoroughly assess through a camera, we are currently treating most Clients through in-person, hands-on sessions (with extensive precautions).  Following these sessions, there’s always homework to help reinforce and enhance the progress we make…

What are Virtual Treatments good for then?

“Movement is Medicine”, but we also know that strengthening a system, without fixing the underlying dysfunctions will definitely make those dysfunctions stronger and harder to overcome.  Fundamentally, this is why people aren’t successful (long-term) with traditional PT exercise programs. In many scenarios, we can use a “Virtual” Treatment to:

  • Assess & modify a Client’s home or work space
  • Progress or modify home exercises
  • Discuss and implement specific lifestyle changes
  • Instruct self-care strategies or techniques

I don’t feel safe coming in but I need help…what can I do?

We want everyone to be safe and stay home when you can.  My recommendation is to get your journey started with a Virtual Consultation.  Most people report learning a lot from us on this first visit and we can often teach principles that can help calm things down and start the healing process.

Another great option is to download the E-book I wrote.  You can access it toward the bottom of this page.  It’s full of information that may contradict what you’ve previously been told and has strategies that you can implement to help yourself today.

We are here to serve…in whatever capacity and method we can.  We will work within whatever constraints make the most sense for your situation.  Please reach out to us with any questions.


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