How can online physiotherapy work?
Updated: Feb 18
For anyone who has ever visited a regular physiotherapy clinic, the idea of doing physiotherapy online may be a bit baffling. Is physiotherapy not all about “hands on” treatment? How can you diagnose and fix an injury without touching someone?
But have you ever asked your physio whom they go to when they’re injured? Most would answer “No one – I treat myself.” Most injuries can be self-treated as long as you have an accurate diagnosis and a sensible treatment plan - both of which we can easily provide via a video call.
A massage may make you feel better for a while, but it won’t fix your injury. Our clinical experience and the current research suggest that it’s the right mix of rest and exercise that will heal you in the long run.
Rest alone is not enough, as it leaves you with a weak area that can easily break down again. The same happens when you do the wrong exercises at the wrong time.
How to get an accurate diagnosis online
You may wonder why, with all the information available on the Internet, physiotherapists are needed at all? Can’t I just use Google or an online symptom checker? The problem is that pain in a specific area or structure can have several causes, which all require a different treatment approach. It takes a good few years of clinical experience to be able to distinguish between them. The Internet may offer several self-diagnosis services, but a recent research study found online symptom checkers to be grossly inaccurate. At Sports Injury Physio, we use our experience to provide you with a diagnosis via an in-depth consultation using Zoom or any other video app that you prefer. First, your physio will ask you to tell them about the circumstances under which you were injured as well as any factors that you feel may be contributing to your condition.
During the second part of the consultation they’ll guide you through a thorough physical examination, just like they would do if you consulted them in a regular clinic.
In most cases this information is enough to provide an accurate diagnosis. However, your physio may recommend further investigation (blood tests, MRI scans, X-rays, etc.) if they suspect a more serious condition. For these, they can request a referral through your regular GP. Your physio then uses all this information to create a custom treatment plan that fits around your daily life and training.
How the online treatment works
The value of having access to experienced sports physiotherapists is that we can help guide you through your recovery process so that you know when you should hold back and when you can push the boundaries a bit.
We’ll work out a detailed treatment plan for you, including videos of your exercises. In the last part of your video consultation your physio will ask you to perform the exercises to check that you're doing them correctly and that they’re appropriate for you. After the consultation they’ll e-mail you the plan, with links to the videos.
Your treatment plan may also include some self-taping or self-massage techniques. Your physio can advise on the materials and equipment you’ll need for this.
Why not ask us if your condition is suitable for treatment online? If so, and you want to go ahead, here’s what will happen:
Select your consultation type.
Select your physiotherapist.
Pick a date and a time for your video consultation.
Pay via Debit/Credit card.
You'll receive a booking confirmation email containing the details for your meeting.
Your physio will call you at the booked time on the video app that you selected.
You have your video consultation. Your physio diagnoses your injury and explains your treatment plan.
They send you the written treatment plan with videos of the exercises.
More about us
We're all UK Chartered Physiotherapists with Master’s Degrees related to Sports & Exercise Medicine. But at Sports Injury Physio we don't just value qualifications; all of us also have a wealth of experience working with athletes across a broad variety of sports, ranging from recreationally active people to professional athletes. You can meet the team here.