5 January 2020 posted by Recovery Partners

The impact of musculoskeletal conditions?

Musculoskeletal conditions affect more than 25% of the worlds population. These conditions have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life and present an economic burden through direct healthcare expenditures and an indirect loss of productivity.

In 2011, the Australian Burden of Disease Study found that musculoskeletal conditions were the fourth most significant contributor to Australia’s total burden of disease.  Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and back pain were highly represented. 

  Download the Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire

What is telerehab and how does it help:

Telerehab (telerehabilitation) is the delivery of rehabilitation to individuals via means of information and electronic communication technologies such as video conferencing software. It is an effective and increasingly popular option in the field of rehabilitation as it allows for the flexible delivery of rehabilitation services such as assessment, monitoring and intervention. Ultimately aiming to better support individuals in the management of their musculoskeletal conditions.

The practice of telerehab has been extensively studied to identify the levels of efficacy and practicability. The results conclude that it is, in fact an excellent option that can be pursued for both short-term and long-term benefits.  Telerehab is especially promising for groups that might have difficulties in accessing services via traditional methods of rehabilitation.    

According to a study published in Clinical Rehabilitation in 2017, “the management of musculoskeletal conditions via real-time telerehabilitation is effective in improving physical function and disability, and pain” (Vol. 31 (5), 625-638).  The study discovered that the effectiveness of real-time rehabilitation can be compared to conventional methods of delivery among people with musculoskeletal conditions.

The specific benefits associated with telerehab?

When used in conjunction with face-to-face appointments, telerehab offers specific additional benefits that are not provided by more traditional approaches. 

  • Not having to deal with frustrating waiting times
  • Costs of accommodation
  • The problems and challenges involved with travel
  • Less stress on the patient, carers, and family members

One of telerehab’s greatest strengths is its ability to overcome the barriers attached to more traditional care, such as those tied to geography and time.  The use of telerehab makes it possible for a greater number of people to receive a higher quality of care.

The benefits of better access:

Telerehab is strong in its ability to bring better access to people living in rural and remote areas of the country.  The services can be accessed by individuals at home through their computer, mobile devices, or at their local health service. 

People who use telerehab can rest assured that their privacy is properly secured and that all standards of confidentiality that are observed in traditional face-to-face consultations will be upheld in telerehab. 

Yes, it is effective!

Telerehab is an effective choice to improve the outcomes of more traditional approaches to treatment.  It helps to overcome barriers that have in the past interfered with patients’ ability to access the best quality of care.  It has been studied and found to useful and reliable, and patients can depend on all the discretion and confidentiality attached to more conventional approaches.

Take a look at how our telerehab services can help in recovery to well-being and return to better productivity.

Find out more on our Functional Upgrading Program here

For more information, you can make enquiries here.

Alternatively, our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789).


Cottrell, Michelle A, et al. “Real-time telerehabilitation for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions is effective and comparable to standard practice: a systematic view and meta-analysis”, Clinical Rehabilitation, Vol. 31 (5), 625-638

“Telerehabilitation”, http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+services/rehabilitation+services/telerehabilitation/telerehabilitation

“The burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia”, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/burden-of-musculoskeletal-conditions-in-austra/contents/table-of-contents

“The burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia”, https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/eed9f208-1d28-439c-aeb8-93509641fc72/20908.pdf.aspx?inline=true

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au