Physical therapists can benefit from a place to share research, hash out practice issues, raise topics of interest, and stay on top of what’s happening in the profession. Blogs are a great forum to do all of this—along with networking and marketing your own expert knowledge and business services.
Here are seven top physical therapy blogs you should follow. You might even be inspired to start your own blog, and develop a strong and influential following.
Learn all about the nuances of chronic pain (the No. 1 reason people go for any physical therapy interventions) and patient care. Written by Bronwyn Thompson, an occupational therapist and lecturer in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Otago Christchurch Health Sciences, the Health Skills blog is for health care providers to explore ways to support the self-management of chronic pain. Thompson offers thoughtful commentary and resources for practitioners and patients, as well as education and training services.
For example, she discusses that a clinician’s goal in pain management is to help people find relief and support the work they can do on their own to manage symptoms and be more able-bodied. In her view, it doesn’t stop there; the clinician can also address the more philosophical side of the day-to-day reality of living with pain. They can help clients re-evaluate how they want to live while managing their pain, how to accept limitations and how they need to adapt. There’s also interesting commentary and research presented on the positive power of what clinicians say during treatment that affects people’s expectations and treatment results. Thompson’s wealth of experience, compassion, and commitment to life-long learning comes through clearly.
Therapydia is the blog of a national network of American physical therapy clinics that educate the public and practitioners on physical therapy practices, common health problems, what to expect from treatment, and what there is to gain. A first-timer to physical therapy can find a great introduction to therapy, treatment options and what the therapy entails. The tone of the material is friendly and informative, and provides information that you could easily communicate to your own clients.
Therapydia therapists across the country post their personal take on common concerns, healing practices and more that reflect the network’s focus on a holistic approach. The clinics also offer wellness programs like yoga, TRX training and Pilates that help with strength, stability and body mechanics to support treatment. Another bonus feature is a patient portal to help clients connect with their physiotherapist with any questions or concerns between visits.
3. Body in Mind
Based out of Australia, Body in Mind was founded by a group of clinicians and scientists exploring pain as it relates to the whole person, physical and mental. The blog focuses on providing evidence-based research and analysis on issues encountered in every orthopedic clinic, written in a lively and friendly tone. Posts will appeal to health care practitioners and patients looking to stay informed about the latest research. For example, one post offered a brief of a research paper and discussion on how depression can have a negative effect on memory and body mechanics, which can cause problems. Depression can cause people to slump more as they walk, so their posture and gait are compromised which can lead to physical pain, spine and joint issues.
There’s plenty of interesting content published frequently. Posts often generate lots of comments and dialogue, so this is a great learning and networking opportunity for practitioners around the world.
4. Spine Health
Back and neck pain are two very common issues for people seeking physical therapy treatments, which makes Spine Health a fantastic resource for chiropractors, massage therapists and physical therapists. The focus for this blog is understanding the important role of the spine in body function and health care for back and neck pain and related conditions. Developed by a group of multi-specialty medical professionals to provide a quality resource and platform for discussion, Spine Health content is reviewed by at least one member of the medical advisory board before publication.
The information is well-presented and includes a range of topics and at-home self-care techniques, such as how to use tennis balls for DIY lower back pain massage [http://www.spine-health.com/blog/how-tennis-balls-and-duct-tape-can-morph-a-do-it-yourself-massage-lower-back-pain] and 14 natural pain relievers [http://www.spine-health.com/blog/14-natural-pain-relievers]. The tone and language is friendly and easy to understand, so you can send links to your patients for reference.
5. Natural News
Natural News is a good alternative source for news and commentary on a range of alternative treatments and approaches, foods and supplements. If your practice incorporates help and discussion about diet and therapies that will complement your treatment, this blog offers quick and easy-to-read material that you can also send along to your patients. For example, a post on herbs to improve vitality, and another on easy ways to reduce stress at home are easy, helpful reads for clients.
6. Mike Reinold
A former head physiotherapist with the Boston Red Sox, Mike Reinhold is a clinician, researcher, educator, and expert self-marketer. He hosts a podcast, a newsletter, video demos of treatments and exercises, as well as online education programs. His specialty is sports rehabilitation and performance training, evident in posts like this one on the use of non-motorized treadmills to help with proper gait. A non-motorized treadmill can also be used as a method for high intensity interval training and conditioning. Reinhold’s techniques and tips can all be applied to your less athletic patients as well.
While there’s a wealth of free content on his blog, he also offers an Inner Circle program to paid members for education opportunities, live webinars and tutorials for staying current in the field.
Erson Religioso, a physiotherapist and professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, covers issues in a conversational tone, both thoroughly and frequently. He and his clinician team members talk about real patients, answer your questions, and provide interesting tips for patient programs, like this one on five ways to use training elastic bands to facilitate movement.
Erson is noted for blogging important industry news, and covering a breadth of knowledge that is worthy of any online college course. Modern Manual Therapy is worth following to stay current and informed.
Follow these top physical therapy blogs and read them often. You’ll connect with other clinicians, stay up to date on news and developments in your field, and gain traction with an online presence to build your business.
Related: 11 Ways to Attract New Clients
About the Author: Karen Hawthorne worked for six years as a digital editor for the National Post, contributing articles on business, food, culture and travel for affiliated newspapers across Canada. She now writes from her home office in Toronto as a freelancer, and takes breaks to bounce with her son on the backyard trampoline. Connect with her on LinkedIn.