Updated: Mar 5, 2021
Over the last year so many aspects of our daily lives have moved online; education, work, GP appointments and socialising (zoom quiz anyone?) and sports therapy consultations are not exempt from this. Therefore I thought it was about time I discussed what benefits there are to booking an online appointment and what you may be missing from a face to face consultation.
The first, most obvious and possibly the most important benefit at the present time is that online appointments are simply safer than a face to face appointment in relation to COVID-19. Attending your appointment from home means there is no risk of infection during the journey (on the bus, at the petrol station, that runner that you think might be a little too close, but you’re not sure) or at the appointment, as a face to face appointment, by its very nature, is close contact between you and your therapist. Of course full PPE will be worn, but we can’t mitigate the risk entirely. So, either end of a video chat is a safer place to be for now.
As well as this, attending your appointment from your home, work, garden or bed is just way more convenient. Removing that travel time means that we can slot your appointment easily into your day and around your commitments such as work, homeschooling or Netflix. This could mean that you can get an appointment more quickly, meaning quicker advice, allowing you to feel better sooner. It can also allow for quicker onward referral; if that’s what you need. Online consultations also allow for more regular contact, throughout the course of an injury and rehabilitation period, we can check in and see where you’re at at times when you may not necessarily need or be able to make a face to face appointment.
Virtual consultations are more cost-effective than face to face appointments. They take less time out of your day, you incur no travel costs, and as a general rule, they are cheaper than face to face. Who isn’t after value for money?
So if you aren’t actually getting any treatment, how are you going to get better? There is a perception that Sports Therapy is a hands on profession and that in order for your injury to resolve all you need is a sports massage, some fancy tape, and you will walk out as good as new. In reality what you need is a rehabilitation programme with exercises selected by your therapist especially for you and your current injury. This is a priority whether your appointment is face to face or virtual.
That does not mean that I think there is no place for manual therapy - my thoughts on this probably deserve a blog post to themselves - but that it is a great adjunct to a rehabilitation programme that offers some short term relief. A rehabilitation programme is designed to improve your symptoms each day and target the underlying cause of that pain benefitting you in the long term.
Throughout a virtual consultation you will be asked lots of questions about your injury and asked to perform some tests so that a picture can be formed of the structures and processes involved in your injury. Then we can provide exercises designed to enable self management and help you to recover. I also find that conducting your consultation in your home environment helps me to give you rehab appropriate to your surroundings. We can work together to adapt exercises and get creative with household objects!
Lastly, the feedback I’ve had from recent online consultations is that people simply want the reassurance of talking to a therapist. The questions we ask are designed to help work towards a diagnosis and to rule out any serious problems. A reassuring chat with someone friendly can do the world of good! (although you still need that rehabilitation programme I mentioned earlier).
Now none of this takes away from the fact that I love face to face appointments and think they have numerous benefits themselves and cannot wait to welcome you to LR Elite Sports Therapy, when the time is right. Until then, we’ll always have zoom…
Online bookings can be made online by visiting www.lrelitesportstherapy.com/book