So, I’m going to answer the question “How much does an online consultation for lower back pain / sciatica cost?” literally, and give you a bit of detail on what you actually get for that. Another question you may be asking yourself, is “Do online consultations for lower back pain / sciatica work?”
Firstly, who provides online consultations for lower back pain and sciatica? If you google this term, you get a few offerings. I suspect there are probably some clinicians who would be happy to provide a skype consultation if you asked them for one, but it might prove to be a bit of a messy experience if they haven’t put systems in place for this to be a standard occurrence for them. So, let’s just present the information I gleaned by clicking through to these sites to find out what their pricing actually is and we’ll try to work out what you get for that.
A key question for me is “Do you get someone who specialises in lower back pain and sciatica?” Or just a generalist? Who specialises? Orthopaedic surgeons and physicians may choose to specialise in LBP and sciatica. Who else? Physiotherapists, chiropractors, physical therapists and osteopaths may all specialise in lower back pain / sciatica. Reviewing the first 2 pages on a google search for “online consultations for lower back pain and sciatica” only gave me the below possibilities, including our own which I haven’t given details of below (because that would be biased, and you can find them here if you’re keen to compare).
Online Physio provide real physiotherapists to consult with you via video-link. Their Basic Package is $97 and includes:
- Assessment via intelligent webforms
- Video consultation
- Personalised rehabilitation program to your smartphone
- 1 week follow up through in App messaging
As part of their online consultation service Pushdoctor can deal with lower back pain. Unlike Online Physio, these are generalists, rather than specialists. £30 for a 10 minute appointment, without filling in any online form first (good luck getting to the bottom of a lower back problem in 10 minutes!). To be fair, you can pay for more time, at a rate of £15 per 10 minutes.
Spine Correction Centre in the Rockies (USA) offers free online consultations, but these are clearly a superficial sales approach. Digging deeper, it’s impossible to get a quote for an actual in-depth online consultation. I suspect that online consultations are only a loss-leader part of their business model, in the hope that you’ll become a surgical patient of theirs.
The International Spine Institute offers an online consultation with a surgeon to discuss MRI findings (you can upload your MRI images in advance). There’s no indication of price, annoyingly, although there’s some text to suggest the MRI review is free. However, the service is only available to residents of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, South Carolina and Ohio. Again, I’m sure there’s no real management/advice offered here other than go to their clinic and have surgery.
If I was going to commend one of these to you, (without having tried any of them myself), it would have to be Online Physio.