Why Physiotherapy is an essential service?
Why Physiotherapy is still an “Essential Service” during lockdown – just not as we know it.
I’m not sure about you, but I’ve noticed that the title of “essential service” during lockdown has become a battle of the egos. Professions and services are vying for confirmation that “we are important”.
I must admit, I was initially pulled into this same debate. As a Physiotherapist, I have patients that I care deeply about and to me their ability to function without pain during lockdown is my priority.
However, I have realised that the title of essential service is not a judgement of one service being more important than another. It is simply acknowledging that the service is important AND must take place in a face to face setting. Closing schools is not suggesting that education is not essential. It is recognising that education can take place effectively without face to face to contact.
And hence we come to my profession, Physiotherapy. Yes, Physiotherapy is portrayed as a “hands-on” profession. I use manual therapy quite regularly. However, it is by no means the only thing we do. In fact, in most cases it only accounts for about 10% of the results patient’s get. The other components – the assessment, the exercise therapy, the advice – that is what make up 90% of a patient’s results. And all of those can be done effectively through online consultations.
So I am proud to realise today that my profession is indeed an essential service. But, just like many professions, we can provide this service without increasing the risk to our clients and our community.
And the feedback from our clients regarding the value of online Physiotherapy so far, is proof of that. I am happy to be one of many Physiotherapists in New Zealand providing essential services, online, whilst protecting my community and my nation.
Cath Julius is a Physiotherapist with expertise in Hip and Lumbar diagnosis & treatment.
After graduating in 1998 from Melbourne University Cath spent many years working within some of the largest Sports Medicine Practices in Australia. Working closely with top Sports Medicine Physicians, Orthopaedic Surgeons and other health professionals gave her an amazing grounding in all aspects of injury assessment and management.
Cath is the owner and Consultant Physiotherapist at Freedom Health Physio & Pilates in Papanui, Christchurch.