Fenix Physiotherapy was one NHS specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapists response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many patients in pain and unable to receive physiotherapy on the NHS, the need to keep people moving and pain free in their own homes during this time of isolation and social distancing is an issue needing to be addressed.
Why is this a crisis in our community? With social isolation comes inactivity, and with inactivity comes morbidity. With many weeks of isolation ahead, thousands of people will develop low back pain, stiff joints, neck ache, and reduced mobility. Not to mention the people with existing conditions, such as osteoarthritis, who will deteriorate without appropriate exercises and professional guidance. The elderly will lose the ability to mobilise and lose their independence. Chronic low back pain will itself become an epidemic. Without delving into the psychological impact on our community; mental health issues will surely arise from social isolation, inactivity, morbidity, and chronic pain, it is clear to see that all roads lead to increased pressures on the NHS. When we emerge from this pandemic, thousands upon thousands of pain riddled, immobile members of the public will be dependent on an already exhausted NHS.
So what can be done to take the pressure off the NHS now and more pertinently in the future? What can be done to avoid the real possibility of a community in pain, descending on our hospitals with preventable morbidities? As individuals we all have the responsibility to look after our own health and wellbeing; that means exercising in the home or outdoors. There are many fantastic groups emerging, predominantly online, that are supporting those in need at this time. However, as a healthcare professional with specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapy and pain management skills, I considered what I could do in these unprecedented times.
So Fenix Physiotherapy was founded; a physiotherapy provision to provide telephone/video consultations, advice, guidance and home exercise plans for those unable to access Physiotherapy due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, taking the pressure off the NHS and ultimately helping people in pain during times of physical isolation.