With a shift in recent events, Alba Physiotherapy found itself igniting our virtual sessions for our patients. We are no stranger to virtual sessions in the Highlands of Scotland due to the sheer distance some folk needed to travel to come and see us. We have often used our virtual sessions to help people. So, we were no stranger to virtual but as with everyone, we were a bit surprised when it looked as though everyone was to be seen that way. After several weeks we are deilghted at how well our usual face-to face patients are doing with the technology. It's surprisingly straight forward isn't it? In fact, sometimes it's so straight forward, we are expecting it to be hard, which is the hard bit!
So, although virtual sessions and classes are relatively normal for us as we are used to them, it struck me last week that it might be quite a funny concept as to how it works if you've not used them or you've maybe been used to getting a regular massage somewhere. So here are some of the best bits about virtual appointments and sessions.
Firstly, injury, pains and aches do not just stop because our lifestyles have changed. In fact, we have had an influx of people getting sorer, wearing more ‘amazon back braces’ and taking a lot more pain killers than they previously had because their lifestyle has changed.
Next up, a good specialist physiotherapist doesnt have to rely purely on hands-on treatment to solve your problem. FACT!! In Fact, a specialist physio has lots of ‘tools in the tool box’ so to speak that get to be used in our virtual sessions. Just as a generic exercise sheet doesnt usually solve the problem (and make it go away), neither will a generic hands on session. You need to have a FULL assessment and speak with someone who is straight up about what they have found, what you need, and how you're going to tackle it.
"I hate technology and my pain is because I'm just getting old"
Firstly, age is really a number. What we do, and the choices we make determine how we feel. I have had 20 year olds say this to me as well as 80 year olds. Age is a factor, but it doesnt seal your fate of a lifetime of a ‘dodgy back’, ‘weak ankles’ or ‘having to watch what you do’ ALL the time. NOW more than ever IS the perfect time to take the control back.
As for the technology, if you can use a mouse to press one click, you're in business!! But, we get it. Technology isnt my particular strongest point so what we have done (apart from making it 1 click from a direct link to see us), we also have a member of Alba Physio who will walk you through every bit of it. We do ‘trial runs’, free discovery sessions, the works, so that the technology bit isn't an issue.
This IS the time now. We are facing completely unprecidented times. How many times (pre lockdown) have you said to yourself, God I'd love a few weeks just completely off, to catch up, get myself sorted, eat right, exercise and even... maybe read a book… Usually,..Every week!!!! This is a rare moment in time in history that we have the reprieve from the daily grind and trying to keep up with everything.
2 weeks ago I spoke with Louise. She has 2 kids, teenagers (so the house is busy) and this is literally the first time in years she has had the brain ‘down time’ to realise she needs and wants to spend more time getting herself back on track. Having supported the kids between studying, taxi driving to different shinty matches and swimming lessons, she now wants to figure out how she can get back on track. But the problem is, Louise tried getting back into it in the first few weeks of lockdown but feels sorer than ever.
Sound familiar? That bike ride with such great weather for April, that was the end of bike rides for the moment. The realisation that you haven't actually cycled that far in years... pre kids? Getting your body back on track again takes a bit more of a specific approach. You need a full movement assessment to find out what habits or ways your body likes to move now and what ways it needs to be able to move in the future so you can do what you want to do without the backlash.
Louise is now back on the bike, has a specific program which is her dedicated time, has bi-weekly checks in with the physio and is now on track for when the lockdown is lifted. She has never felt better and actually said to me that she feels her body is thanking her for it.
So the next question people tend to ask is "How does it work?"
So here’s your breakdown:
For our virtual physio sessions you get a link which you click on and there we are! You can access on almost any device that has internet access! After that it's business as usual.
We will go through a full history getting into the depths of what's going on, WHY it might be going on and also taking your previous injuires and problems into account (because you can't just treat a knee if it's sore… Its all part of a kinetic chain in the body!) We will then focus a lot on movement analysis assessment. This is actually great to see on virtual as you can get a birds eye view of what ‘cheats’ your body is doing to make the movements. This is an integral part of any physio assessment.
Then we go through your diagnosis, what we've found, what we recommend you do to get on top of this and to get back to whatever you like doing, whether that's playing golf (even if in the garden), being able to get up and down off the floor, or even getting back running without flare ups. We design a full comprehensive plan for you and then get going, ALL within the comfort of your own home. No travel time, no stress AND no coming away from the clinic wondering "but how am i going to do that exercise at home?" (hopefully you won't ever have thought that coming out of Alba Physio anyway 🙂 )
Our Virtual Pilates are on a slightly different system called Zoom. Zoom is a platform thats used worldwide. All you need is to sign in and access the classes with your specific class link to that day which youll recieve into your inbox that morning. They are great fun, and you'll be greeted by your instructor and you'll get to hear the craic that goes on behind the scenes. Again, ALL within the comfort of your own home. We have been really excited about our classes and how much the Alba Family has been working hard to not only keep our bodies in shape and getting stronger but also making sure the mental game of this lockdown is sorted also.
We have clients now that would NEVER have had the time to do a class a day, and some even do 2 classes per day. We are buzzing watching people get stronger and going from strength to strength.
Remember getting back into activity or getting stronger and fitter doesn't just happen with a few ‘one off’ sessions. It's all about creating the habit but to do that, you need to go to a place where you will not only be doing the right things but you'll enjoy it to.
So there you have it. A run through of our virtual world with Alba Physio. Throughout all of this we have worked really hard to respond in quick time to government guidelines to make sure you and our staff are safe BUT we also are passionate about making sure that none of us should go without or suffer because of it.
If you would like to know more about our virtual classes or you're maybe at home and suffering but just dont know what to do, why not give us a call on 01463 240 597 to chat to one of our team. We are here to help but most importantly to find the right solution for you. If we think virtual sessions are not for you, we will also tell you 🙂
Stay safe and not only put your health first but why not use this time to really INVEST in your health. We have lots of patients right now that are not only looking forward to the lockdown being lifted, they are ready for it. Why wait for lockdown to be lifted before you tackle issues, why not get them sorted now?