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Avoiding Après Ski Physiotherapy

Christmas is well and truly over; but with summer still a far away promise it could be time to pack the bags and swap the damp coldness of the UK for the crisp clear coldness of a ski resort. We are now well and truly into the ski season with plenty of snow around to delight the skiing senses.

However, whilst most will return unscathed from their assaults on the mountain trails sadly some will return rather more bandaged up than when they left. There have been reports that overenthusiastic indulgence in après ski is partly to blame but French ski resort physiotherapists are pointing the finger in an entirely different direction.

According to a report on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy website, skiers just aren’t getting fit enough before they hit the slopes. The report quotes Val D’Isere physiotherapist Louise Allison who highlighted the way in which differing ski conditions can cause a range of injuries. So, for example, hard-packed icy snow can lead to back injuries whilst deep snow is more likely to lead to knee ligament problems.

The essential message from the report though is that if people take the time before they go on holiday to really get themselves fit then their chances of injury are lessened. And we’re not talking here about the odd hour in the gym; people should be looking to carry out a combination of strength, endurance and overall fitness training in order to prepare themselves for the intense level of exercise at altitude which skiing requires.

It’s a lesson which doesn’t just apply to ski fitness. The more we look forward and plan to avoid problems, the fitter we can be in the long run. This applies in business as much as it does in our private lives. As we’ve been quoting from a physiotherapy website, let’s take a physiotherapy practice as an example.

In common with other types of health practice, there is a constant demand for physiotherapy time. However, there are certain times of year, such as in the winter when demand increases further. It’s not just the snow; slippery pavements and poor driving conditions can also lead to a whole variety of calls for physiotherapy help. But by planning and preparing, in effect increasing the fitness of the practice, it is possible to ensure that patient treatment times are maximised whilst admin is kept to a manageable minimum.

That doesn’t mean that procedures are skimped, rather the practice has become more efficient. Take the maintenance of patient records for example. Having large filing cabinets stuffed with patient notes may look impressive but it is hardly conducive to efficient working. It’s all too easy to miss file records, not to mention the fact that when a patient moves between treatment centres there is a delay while records are also transferred. Electronically filing patient records means that not only are they instantly accessible from any designated point (subject to secure access), the chances of misfiling are lessened.

Or how about payment management? When patients pay for their treatment it is all too easy to become bogged down in the appointment, issue invoice, chase invoice, receive check, pay into bank rigmarole. All this takes time, something which health practices rarely have in abundance. The solution is to take card payment details at the time of the booking and then confirm the payment as soon as the appointment has taken place. This is quick, simple and saves considerable administration time.

In a 24/7 always on world it is too tempting to simply react to the moment, to take each challenge as it arrives. Planning and preparation can make a measurable difference to the outcome whether we are off skiing or faced with treating the injuries of those who have been out on the slopes.

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