It is interesting how the tough times force us to change and adapt with new ideas and business plans. Setting up ‘telehealth’ online physio consultations was something that had crossed my mind before but I never thought it would be something I would ever venture into. However here I am offering this new service to my clients next week!
I thought I would use this blog to explain some of the benefits of online consultation. Obviously this isn’t going to be a solution for everyone or every issue and will definitely not replace face to face visits for most but I really do see a place for this within our practice going forwards.
Here are 5 reasons why an online consultation might benefit you:
1. No need to travel to our studio
Obviously a consultation online means that we do not actually have to meet in person! This cuts down on travel time and cost and means that you can access physiotherapy without having to leave your home, office or yard. Your appointment can work better around your schedule and you may be able to seek advice sooner.
We have clients that drive more than an hour to attend our clinic to see us. Perhaps we can catch up in this way to save you the journey every single time? You will still receive the same discussion, assessment, advice and exercises etc that you would receive during a face to face appointment.
2. Get quicker advice
Are you struggling to find time to arrange a face to face clinic appointment or is it going to be a few weeks before I can come to your yard to review your horse? We are going to make online virtual appointments available to book every week and these will be easier to arrange at short notice if you are really concerned about something. Perhaps I can offer advice, guidance and exercises to work on until you can get a face to face appointment arranged? Or perhaps an online consultation was all you actually needed to get you back on track?
Often I will refer a horse back to the vet when I attend for an equine physio consultation or advise something like a saddle check. If you are not sure what to do why not discuss this us over video link with me and I can help make a decision on the best way forward? We can still assess your horse trotting up, on the lunge and under saddle from afar!
3. Get an appointment when you are away on business, holiday or competing
Its not the first time I have had a panic call from a client who is away competing and has developed pain or sustained an injury. With online consultations we can do a full and thorough assessment and give you great advice and exercises there and then (as long as you have your phone or iPad with you, of course).
Have you travelled with your horse and feel something isn’t quite normal? We can do a thorough assessment via video link and guide you in the right direction.
4. Self treatment is actually a thing!
Most of the time we do actually teach our clients how to ‘self activate’ areas of the body at home to try and maintain things in between visits to the clinic. It is actually possible to treat yourself (have a look at our previous ‘diaphragm’ blog for a rough idea)! A lot of our clients don’t particularly enjoy inflicting discomfort on themselves but a lot of our clients do with great success! These techniques are easy to teach via video link and we can email all the information to you afterwards. We can give advice on how to use a foam roller effectively or how to release muscles with a tennis ball (although we prefer the spiky balls!).
There is actually a lot we can get you to do at home with you horse to help make a change! There is a whole multitude of exercises, stretches, release techniques and pole work you can work on to improve strength, suppleness and movement patterns.
5. It actually works!
The research out there suggests that patient satisfaction levels are the same as with a face to face consultation! It’s quicker, easier and people get a lot out of their online sessions. At the end of the day your recovery is down to you, you are the one that has to do the work! Hands on physio sessions are obviously amazing (biased here) but really its your body that does the amazing work, I am only guiding it in the right direction.
Well this area isn’t really researched so no stats here but a lot of the work I do during visits is trying to educate the owner as much as I can on how the horse moves, how the muscle groups work and how the exercises we are doing are going to improve the horses way of going. I see no reason why this education, advice and guidance won’t be exactly the same via video link. As per humans, physio treatment is obviously amazing but ultimately its you as an owner and rider that is responsible for getting your horse moving well, performing well and managing the whole picture around your horses health and wellbeing – I am only a small piece of that puzzle.
I will follow this blog up with one explaining what an online consultation will actually involve. If you would like to book an online consultation – click here to book online.
See you soon,
*featured photo from Cliniko – our amazing practice management software company!