THE owner of a Tynedale physiotherapy clinic is ensuring customers don’t go without the business’ services despite being in isolation.

Paul Hobrough, who owns Hexham-based Physio and Therapy, is helping customers through his web service IChat Physio.

Paul set up the service around four years ago, but he explained that he was now encouraging people to use it more due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

People can log in to an online portal and choose their slot, and the service uses Zoom, which is a conferencing service similar to Skype, allowing Paul or another physiotherapist to offer an in-depth assessment.

Those using the service are able to carry out movements and exercises for the evaluation before they can be given advice and exercises to be carried out at home.

Paul said people will be emailed exercise videos which they can access as many times as they like. “This involves a bit of entrepreneurial spirit for my business but also I wanted people in isolation, or if we do get locked down, for people to still benefit from physiotherapy,” he said. “Our goal is that we can still serve the community but we can also make sure our business can survive.”

Paul explained that, for people in isolation, it could be a stressful time which could lead to aches and pains, while not getting as much exercise could have a detrimental impact on the body.

He was also keen to dispel beliefs that physiotherapy was reliant on touch, pointing out evidence suggesting 70 per cent of all injuries could be effectively managed via online physiotherapy. “Through this we are able to rewrite the script a little bit and educate people that this is a really really good way of them maintaining their health.”

“We are trying to do as much for the community as possible and we know this is a difficult time so we have tried to make the sessions as affordable as possible.”