Social Media Health & Wellness Personalities
Since the onset of the global pandemic, many of us have found ourselves relinquishing (not by choice) the normal routine of going to the gym to see our personal trainer, the, chiropractor to get our monthly adjustment, the, masseuse to make things right, our, yoga classes,to keep things working, and for some our physical therapists, and found ourselves struggling to find solutions to fill the voice of our over all health and well-being routines.
Unfortunately, for those whom require trips to the physical therapists for them to be able to function this has posed a serious problem and many have had to seek out alternatives, especially with those whom cannot afford health insurance during these financially challenging times.
So like most Americans, when we need inspiration, we head to social media, where you can find slews of experts providing solutions to just about anything. In my industry of digital marketing, plenty of professionals are scrambling to get their programs online. So the question remains, are these resources available to us as good as the real thing and how to you find a replacement if your go to service provider doesnt have a social media presence or online video content available to you?
High costs and lack of coverage are pushing people to online PT
Trusting the internet for medical advice has always been a crapshoot. A runny nose paired with a vivid imagination can quickly metastasize to a terminal prognosis from a number of sources, and often you don’t know the qualifications and motivations of social media advice-givers. But 27.5 million Americans don’t have health insurance, and even those with health care can find the out-of-pocket costs of physical therapy to be an insurmountable barrier. Sometimes it feels there’s nowhere else to go, really, but online.
When I was a marketing manager at a small San Francisco startup, I used my employer-provided insurance to splurge on a $30,000 shoulder surgery and complete roughly 10 months of physical therapy after a freak indoor skydiving accident. My surgeon recommended a number of physical therapy offices and I found one two blocks away from my company’s office in the financial district of San Francisco. Twice a week, I’d slip out at lunchtime to do my 3-pound bicep curls, hand bicycling, and other perspective-setting exercises. As my strength and mobility progressed, so did the intensity of my therapy sessions. But when I made the switch to full-time freelancing, a PT visit with a $20 co-pay turned into a $200-plus luxury I could no longer afford. Informed by notes from my surgeon and PT visits, I turned to a more cost-effective option: the internet.
My physical therapy became a curated Instagram feed of self-guided routines to do at the gym. I’d search tags like #labrum and #slaptear. I came across physical therapists with tens — sometimes hundreds — of thousands of followers. I could tell I wasn’t the only one doing internet-based rehab.
There’s the well-known disclaimer that you should not substitute the internet for professional medical advice. But just as the Q-tip box says “do not insert directly into the ear canal,” that is exactly what some people will do.