Let’s raise up our colleagues who are helping people virtually

Image of Richmond Stace and Evie Martin

Blogpost by Evie Martin, founder of PhysiosOnline.

I am a huge fan of virtual physiotherapy, as I believe it has huge benefits both now and far beyond lockdown.

  • No travel for patients
  • Better for the environment
  • Zero risk of you becoming exposed to a disease which could be debilitating or deadly to you or a loved one.

To me, the question of whether physiotherapists should be in favour of using this technology, and encourage others to do the same, is a no-brainer. Of course we should.

However, I have noticed a surprising reluctance on the part of many musculoskeletal physiotherapists to adopt and encourage the use of virtual physiotherapy. I’ve heard so many examples of what we physios apparently CAN’T do over video consultation I’ve listened to other physios repeatedly explain to me that video consults are not suitable for everyone (I know). They’ve expressed concerns about how we physios will “lose our hands-on skills” if we adopt this technology, and many other various concerns.

Recently I’ve come to suspect that, when msk physios give pushback about video consults or criticise the idea of remote treatment, they are perhaps not considering the wider picture and looking beyond their own patient group.

The PhysiosOnline group includes many wonderful and diversely-skilled physiotherapists helping many different types of people, not only those with musculoskeletal complaints.

Unlike many musculoskeletal physios who simply stopped treating their patients during lockdown, clinicians in the PhysiosOnline collective did everything they could to adapt quickly to the situation so as to keep helping the people who need them.

These included, for example:

The physiotherapists who have done this deserve to be lifted up and celebrated by our profession. So that’s what I’m doing and that’s what I will continue to do as best I can with PhysiosOnline.

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