Regular readers will know that I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the past few years. Running does place strain on your body and for me it led to a stress fracture in my hip and shin splints. Physiotherapy has been crucial for me both in getting diagnosed and rehabilitating my injuries. Working with my physio for the past 18 months has helped me heal, get back to running and hopefully prevent reoccurring issues.
One of my bugbears is when people try to use social media to diagnose injury. I constantly see tweets like “I had a sharp pain in my knee whilst running today, any advice?” or “My calf has been niggling for a few weeks, what could it be?” I appreciate that it’s distressing to be in pain and these people are looking for reassurance, but there really is no substitute for consulting with a professional. A qualified physiotherapist will consider the body as a whole and take into account any imbalances and lifestyle factors- slightly more in depth than a 140 character tweet!
Another mistake is using Google to diagnose your injury. I’ve fallen into this trap myself and it often leads to panic as you tend to come across the worst-case scenarios and horror stories. It’s easy to misdiagnose your complaint and convince yourself of the worst when reading articles on the web.
I think that the barrier to seeking an opinion from a professional physiotherapist is often time and cost. The consultation fee alone can be very expensive and it’s rare to be able to get an appointment within the same week. Runners can be an impatient bunch (myself included) and it’s difficult to be sidelined with undiagnosed pain whilst you wait for a consultation. It’s important to address an acute problem as quickly as possible, before it becomes long-term and chronic.
I came across JimJam which is a platform that provides access to highly qualified, UK-based physiotherapists via video call. You simply register, book a timeslot and provide a little information about yourself and your injury. When you attend your video call appointment, your physiotherapist will ask further questions in order to diagnose the issue. From this, they will prescribe you a personalised, evidence-based rehabilitation programme.
Your JimJam physio will provide ongoing support by asking how you’ve been finding your exercises, using this information to adjust your programme and providing further advice. You may need further investigations relating to your diagnosis, in which case the physio will refer you onto other healthcare professionals.
All you need to use JimJam is a computer with a webcam and microphone, and a reliable internet connection. Timeslots are available from early in the morning until late at night, whenever a physio is around to take an appointment. As JimJam have no overheads, consultations are just £19.99 making them much more affordable than seeing a physio in the traditional way.
My only concern was that physiotherapy needs to be hands-on in order to be effective. JimJam believe that the majority of complaints can be accurately diagnosed and treated remotely, with open communication and cooperation from the patient. Could online physiotherapy be the way forward?
Next time your knee is niggling or your calf is aching, log on to JimJam and give their physiotherapists a try. It must be better than a Twitter diagnosis!
Post written in collaboration with JimJam.
Would you use an online service to diagnose an injury? Have you ever been to see a physio?