Opening a new business in the middle of a global pandemic might not be the best time to do so but local physio David Murphy is all about looking on the bright side of life.
While still busy performing general day to day duties with Dundalk FC, the current downtime has given him the opportunity to launch his new private practice Perform Physiotherapy.
Based at his home in New Muirhevna, off the Dublin Road, David is now taking on new patients with the former Colchester Utd and Reading physio set to specialise in sports injury and rehab, injury prevention programmes, musculoskeletal injuries, persistent pain problems and evidence-based patient care. He will also be providing mindfulness techniques for pain and stress management.
Speaking to The Argus on Friday, David admitted that the private clinic had been something in the back of his mind for some time since returning to Dundalk from the UK.
“I’ve probably been thinking about setting up a clinic for over 18 months now but it was just never the best time to it but at the same time there’s no better time to do it than now,” he said.
“We moved into this house last summer and on the left side of the house there was a great space to open up a clinic. We were going to use it as a room for the house but I just said we’d try the clinic in the house for a little while.
“The plan is to start small scale like I am currently and then hopefully in a year or two I can build it up to a premises outside of the house and have it somewhere local possibly with a high-spec gym and possibly a few more clinicians in it as well.
While those are ambitious plans, David admitted to seeing the funny side at the idea of launching a new venture during the current climate. Yet he admits business has been busier than expected, helped by the promotion he has received from local GPs and from Dundalk FC and its players.
“There’s a few ideas on it. The way I look at it is that things happen to you but you can also make things happen. I’d be a big believer in looking at this as an opportunity.
“Although I’ve opened up, it’s just open online at the minute. I was seeing patients face to face for the last month but from last week on I’ve moved all my consultations online to Skype and Zoom databases. That’s where we’re at at the minute but it is quite busy, busier than I expected.
“There’s more people looking for physio than I thought but during a crisis like this people still suffer with musculoskeletal ailments. People are also out running a lot more at the minute so they’re picking up sport injuries.
“Also for people who suffer with persistent pain issues the stress and anxiety of what is going on externally at the minute is going to exacerbate those symptoms. People are also looking for exercise rehab and exercise prescription so although we can’t see patients face to face at the minute, a lot of the evidence actually suggests there is not that much difference in terms of physiotherapy outcome between face to face and online. That may sound unusual to some but physiotherapy has really evolved in the last five or 10 years whereby I do very little manual therapy.
“A lot of my work can be done online. It obviously has its limitations as well and you can’t get a full objective assessment but you can get a really good idea based on the patient’s history.
“One thing I really promote with Perform is looking at lifestyle factors. That involves looking outside of a patient’s pain reports or the injury as such. That includes looking at areas such as sleep, diet, nutrition, alcohol intake or if they’re a smoker. Basically looking at areas of their lives that could be feeding into the patient’s symptoms. Patients may also want to look at their values a bit deeper and want to live a more meaningful life and we can look at that as well. That definitely falls in under a modern day physio’s remit too.”
All that said, David said he can’t wait to start treating people face to face again.
“Absolutely. Nothing beats human interaction,” he said.
“I do love the face to face consultations. The online stuff is just as good from an outcome point of view but you do miss the face to face side of things and I suppose one of the disadvantages of the online stuff is you can have connection issues etc.”
So why the name Perform?
“That name has been in my head since 2015,” explained David.
“I like the idea of Perform because Perform means different things for everyone. For me it might be performing at work, so being able to sit or stand, whereas your perform might be that you’ve a half marathon to run. Someone else’s might be having to negotiate stairs after having a knee operation. Some people want to walk, some people want to run and some people want to compete and that’s why I wanted to encapsulate it with that word because performing means something different for everybody.”
Meanwhile, David continues his work for Dundalk FC alongside Danny Miller and says the support he has received from the players since launching last week has been invaluable.
“We’re doing injury prevention plans and we’re in daily contact with players which can take up to a few hours as well. Myself and Danny have still got our hands full with some injuries.
“The lads have been absolutely brilliant. They’re a great bunch and very supportive and I really appreciate them giving me a bit of advertising because it’s not something I’ve done before.
“I wouldn’t be that tech savvy but my partner Molly is a digital marketer by trade so she has been helping me out quite a bit and with the bit of down time I have at the minute in between doing work for Dundalk I said it would be a good idea to get it up and running online.”
Perform Physiotherapy can be found on Twitter and Instagram with a website to follow. You can book a consultation online at calendly.com/perform-dundalk while he can also be contacted at 086 174 8722.