Darren Higgins

01 April , 2020

There are often milestones in the delivery of healthcare that when we look back, we wonder why it took us so long to get there. In time, Online Physio Consults will be one of those milestones. Australia has been doing this for close to ten years now, in part due to the vast distances and remoteness of many communities, but also because it makes good sense. The COVID-19 pandemic has fast tracked many to move online to be able to continue to deliver physiotherapy care to many people who, at this time need it more than ever.

Put simply, self-isolation doesn’t mean your health should suffer. Continuing to offer the same face-to-face care however, is going to be increasingly challenging in this current environment as we are all forced to minimise human contact.

Introducing Vanbrugh Physio Virtual Consults.


What is a virtual physio consult?

  • In essence it is still your normal physio consultation
  • Self-isolation means physical face to face consults not possible
  • Virtual face to face instead
  • Many of the components are exactly the same – listening closely to your story – this part of the consultation is actually the MOST important
  • Video-link between the physio and patient using a user-friendly program called Physitrack – accept laptop or mobile phone/ tablet

Why have an online consult?

  • With more and more people having to work from home, often at make-shift workstations, there’s never been a more important time to take care of your musculoskeletal health.
  • An inability to move about as much as we usually do mean our joints and muscles can stiffen up – especially if you have a pre-existing problem
  • Just because you can’t see your physio in person, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue your physio rehab or “see” a physio to get help with a new episode of low back or neck pain for example.
  • It’s time efficient and convenient
  • It’s cost effective for you

Who is it for?

In a nutshell it’s for everyone. During the COVID-19 pandemic the UK’s social isolation and distancing measures dictate that face-to-face interactions are prohibited.

  • Anyone who is already having physio and needs to keep the momentum going in their rehab program
  • Anyone who has a new musculoskeletal problem, whether it be pain or stiffness
  • Anyone who has a new concern that has arisen due to spending more time at home and less time moving and exercising
  • Anyone who just wants some friendly professional advice about their home setup to ensure they’re looking after themselves

How does it work?

The virtual consultation works via a program called Physitracks. Used initially as a way to send a patient their exercises online and monitor progress, Physitracks also has a secure video-link platform. This allows you to talk face to face with your physio via your laptop, mobile phone or tablet just like with Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The technology is extremely straight forward, but like anything new, it can for some people, be a little confusing at first. Rest assured the team at Vanbrugh are here to help you get it all set up.

Here are the easy to follow steps:

  1. Your physio sends you an invitation usually by email.
  2. Once you accept the invitation the Physitracks app will open and you will automatically be connected to the call.
  3. Your physio will conduct the consultation as if you were truly face to face, listening to your story, asking you questions about your problem and asking you to perform certain movements to ascertain what’s causing your problem and then discuss the best solution for you.
  4. They will then be able to diagnose your problem and develop the best treatment plan for you.
  5. This will certainly include some self-release and treatment techniques for you to perform as well as a rehabilitation exercise program.
  6. They will also be able to stream new video exercises for you to follow.
  7. Education is an important part of any physio consultation and this will be an important part of your consultation – education about what is going on, how the exercises and self-treatment will help you and what you need to do differently in order to help your recovery
  8. The physio will then arrange a time to review your progress in the coming days to help you achieve your goals

So How Can You Schedule an Appointment?

You can make enquiries directly with the reception team at the clinic in the usual way. We’re still here for you. If you’d like to contact your physio directly to see if a virtual consult would work for you, then of course you can do that through the usual email address you have for them. If you’re not currently in treatment, or don’t know your physio’s email address, then please phone the clinic and we’ll be only too happy to speak with you and put you in touch with one of the clinical team to see if a Vanbrugh Virtual Consult is right for you.

…We want to make sure that this period of social isolation does not interfere with the progress of your treatment…..and if you’re not having treatment at the moment, that we are here to help before you really need it..

Darren Higgins, Practice Principal


  1. Jerome

    Sounds safe and time effective

    • Darren Higgins

      Thank you for your comment Jerome.

      We found the Virtual Consultations very useful during Lockdown 1 and now that we are permitted to see people face-2-face, we are still employing the virtual approach to conduct the very first part of our initial consultation – it’s where we discuss the problem the patient is having and discuss the plan for the face to face part of the assessment.

      For those preferring a fully virtual approach, we can do this too. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.


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