In the wake of COVID-19, we are all getting used to the advice from the Government about social distancing. We’ve been told to only leave our homes to shop for necessities, daily exercise or for any medical need.
The government have categorised healthcare (including physiotherapy) as an essential service during this period of social distancing. Here at The Physios your safety and well-being is our highest priority and we have been issuing clear advice regarding our services and consultations here at The Physios as this crisis has unfolded. Here is our latest guidance based on advice from the Government and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
If your treatment can be deferred, we recommend that you stay at home until the current restrictions are lifted.
When should I be having physio?
There are a number of specific reasons to seek advice from a physiotherapist. The safest way to achieve this currently is via a remote/video consultation, however, in certain cases a face to face consultation may be indicated:
– if you are in pain
– if you are struggling with day to day activities
– if you are unable to work due to your injury or condition
– if you are unable to care for a vulnerable person due to your injury or condition
– if you have concerning symptoms such as, pins & needles, numbness or muscle weakness
The Government has given physiotherapy practices like ours specific responsibility for looking after people’s musculoskeletal health so that they don’t need to see their GP or suffer deterioration in their condition during this time.
Johnny Cassidy, our clinical director, is a manual therapy enthusiast and was skeptical about how constructive an online consultation could despite lots of good evidence to show the effectiveness of remote physiotherapy. Of course there are elements of manual testing and ‘hands on’ treatment that cannot take place. However, Johnny has found online consultations in the first instance to be a really effective way to discuss your symptoms and analyse your movement. From this point we can suggest exercises from our online video library, advise or prescribe medication for your condition and deduce if an essential face to face session is warranted. Alternatively a further online consultation may be more appropriate to progress or adjust your conditioning programme.
Please do not worry if you are a “technophobe” – we have the technology in place to make this a seamless experience. All you need is a laptop, tablet or phone and an internet connection. A link to the video is sent via your consultation reminder. We are trained FCPs (first contact practitioner’s) and Independent Prescribers which means we can take some of the burden off your GPs who are extremely busy managing this pandemic. This service is now fully covered by medial insurance (BUPA, AXA, Nuffield, etc). Even if you are in the vulnerable category or are unwell, we can still conduct these consultations. After the consultation we will email you our advice and links the video exercises to do at home.
Finally, if we do need to treat you in person, we will arrange this directly with you at the conclusion of your online consultation.
You can book an online consultation here.
When should I not be having physio?
There are 2 specific patient groups who are explicitly advised against face to face contact for now and who should progress social distancing to self isolation:
- if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature and persistent cough) you should self isolate for 7 days. Your family or anyone you live with should also isolate for 14 days.
- if you are over 70, are pregnant or have underlying health conditions, you should self isolate for 12 weeks and avoid all non-essential contact. If you are in the vulnerable category you will have had correspondence from the government detailing this and the precautions to take.
However, if you are in need of physiotherapy, online/video consultation are safe and effective. It is important to stay fit and active during this period and we are keen to help you maintain your musculoskeletal system as optimally as possible.
If your treatment relates to improving performance or helps to maintain a chronic condition, you should consider deferring treatment until this period of social distancing is over.
Stay fit and active even if you are in isolation
PILATES WITH A DIFFERENCE – Kate’s online Pilates classes have began in earnest and are receiving rave reviews already. If you are confined to home, we have the technology to bring Pilates right into your living room! There will be 3 ‘live’ Pilates classes per week: Tuesday 6pm, Thursday 11am and Thursday 7pm. This is a free of charge service for patients but we would encourage you to make a donation to Foodbank via Bankuet. If you already receive our newsletter, you will automatically receive the links to the classes each week. If not you can sign up here or we will be posting these on our Facebook page each week.
RUNNING – please avoid the temptation to achieve all your running goals over the next 2 months. Also DO NOT run every day! Running expert Jon Grayson has produced an excellent resource for runners – Runners Hub. He will also be posting blogs about how to safely and effectively increase and improve your running so keep posted.
Can I carry on as normal?
There is a reason the Government are phasing measures to contain this pandemic and it is cleverly explained here.