‘Snow Joke if You’re Injured’

At the time of writing this article, a stunning photo has hit the headlines showing a skier making the most of the snow in the peak district. Taken under a clear blue sky and with the benefit of once in 20 year snow conditions; the picturesque scene could easily rival that at any ski resort abroad.

Elsewhere across the country it is a mixed picture. Whilst some are having fun building snowmen and throwing snowballs, others are simply faced with cold winds and ice. But whatever the weather, there is no doubt that winter, long postponed, has arrived at last bringing with it the usual mix of delight and disaster.

Whilst snow and ice may be fun for some, it can be no joke for those who fall prey to its deadly embrace. As cars slide on treacherous roads and pedestrians slip on pavements the list of sprains, strains and fractures can add to the usual winter woes packing out our casualty departments. Some may be quickly bandaged up and sent on their way but for others a long slow road to rehabilitation awaits.

It is a sad fact that the older we get, the longer our bodies take to heal and injuries such as a strain or pulled muscle which we mostly ignored when young can be devastating now.  And the longer we take to heal, the more other joints and muscles in our bodies seize up; bringing problems further along the line. For the elderly this can mean that even minor falls lead on to life limiting conditions. For example, slip over and hurt your ankle and by the time that it is well on the way to healing, the forced period of inactivity may well have led to knee, hip and back problems. Whatever the age, one of the solutions is to stay as active as possible and that means enlisting the help of a physiotherapist or other health or sports professional.

The trouble is that with winter slip and fall injuries adding to a list of winter sports injuries, whether from playing rugby or hitting the slopes, health professionals such as physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors find that winter is a very busy time. With only a set number of hours in the day, in order to try and meet winter demands health professionals are turning to the internet and digital devices to help them to reduce administration time and maximise treatment times.

Working smarter not harder may be a cliche but it is one which has a basis in truth. Online appointment booking, automated SMS text reminders and electronic patient records all help to free up time which can then be devoted to patient treatment.  For those who prefer to retain a personal touch, switching telephone calls to a virtual assistant service means that patient calls can be answered in a professional manner without interrupting ongoing consultations; with the virtual assistant service making bookings via an online system.

Even something as simple as taking card payment details at the time of booking can help to cut down on missed appointments whilst simultaneously making it easier for client payments to be collected. These are all small changes but taken together they can make a measurable difference to the working day.

Snow may be beautiful to look at but when we fall prey to its embraces it is good to know that our physiotherapy and health services are on hand to help us to quickly heal.