Getting used to the new normal ….

To tell a new business that it must effectively shut up shop on its health and wellbeing services after just 8 months is a low blow in any circumstance. But to also tell the business owners to go into lockdown for 3 months is a challenge to say the least. Rising to the task, we took stock and worked out what we needed to do to carry on delivering physiotherapy, Pilates and other exercises classes. Zoom became our best friend and we discovered a whole new way of working. Now 4 months later we are starting to feel really positive again.

Our health and wellbeing clinic on Bridge Street in Christchurch, Dorset has been re-open for 4 weeks now. Physiotherapy is going well, sports massage is starting this week and our Pilates classes can start from 25th July on a 1-2-1 and 2-2-1 basis. We are lucky that the Covid-19 rate has been relatively low in Dorset. Local people seem to be fairly confident about going out and getting back to normal.

But what is normal now? Recent reports have shown that up to 50% of UK workers are now working from home (https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/ons-working-from-home-april-2020/) and there is no evidence to show this will significantly change in the coming months.

What impact has lockdown had?

Since going into lockdown, we have seen 2 common trends:

  1. Many people have embraced the opportunity to be far more active than usual. This is something which, of course, we would never ever discourage. However, this has meant that the incidence of overuse injuries has gone up. When you suddenly increase your activity level your body needs time to adapt. If you repetitively keep doing more and more, you can overload the body causing things like Tendinopathy’s and stress fractures.
  2. With more people working from home, some have almost become slaves to work as there is no shut off. No getting in the car to drive to and from work. No locking up the office, meeting the guys at the pub after 5 aside footie, or going to the gym. Some of this will change as lockdown eases further and things reopen. But we expect that there will still be many people working from home who need support. This group of people are doing less activity, less sport, less socialising and are getting niggles, aches and pains as a result.

What does this all mean?

There certainly isn’t a one size fits all solution. But for both these groups we can prescribe similar suggestions.

  • Try to have a routine whereby there is a bit more structure to your day or training programme.
  • Our bodies don’t like big, quick changes so incremental increases in your activity or load are important.
  • If you are sitting all day at a laptop, factor in some breaks. Go for a walk at lunchtime, get an external keyboard and/or docking station and make sure you are in a room where you can concentrate. Being more productive should be your priority, not working more and more hours.

What’s our new normal?

Paul O'Connell ready for face-to-face physiotherapy appointments in Christchurch, Dorset

We are certainly not operating as business as usual yet. But we are on the road to get there. Welcoming patients back through our door for physiotherapy treatment in Christchurch, Dorset was a huge milestone. Seeing patients return for sports massage and small group Pilates classes will be another step to bring a smile to our faces.

We continue to follow all the government and CSP guidelines (https://www.csp.org.uk/news/coronavirus/clinical-guidance/remote-or-face-face-consultations/guidance-advice-implementation) meaning we screen all of our patients and are wearing PPE. Whilst we might look at little different, we haven’t let that affect our standards or level of service. People are coming to us with pain and injury and getting better quickly. With your wellbeing as our goal, that’s the most important thing to us.

To book your physiotherapy, sports massage appointment, Pilates or Yoga class contact us today on 01202 473800 or email info@bridgehw.com. Our friendly team of experts are here to help you get better, build strength and feel happy and healthy in your mind and body.

Check out our Facebook page for the latest timetable of online, interactive Pilates classes. Don’t forget, your first class is free so get in touch to book yours today.

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