Chris Worsfold introduces a new CSP resource for patients, providing advice for common MSK problems
‘I saw this thing on the internet...’ They are the words that cause every physiotherapist’s heart to sink.
Your patient has woken up in pain, or done something at work, and they’ve turned to Dr Google to find something – anything at all – that will help them feel better.
How often do patients cite false or misleading information they've got from the internet?
It’s an entirely understandable action that millions of people do each day, and which many of us will have done ourselves at some point.
But online health advice is the new wild west – an unregulated morass of bunkum and bulldust, often driven by commercial interests, that offers quick fixes to desperate people at a highly vulnerable time.
This means many patients arrive at our clinics with unhelpful beliefs and, sadly in some cases, greater pain that they ever should have experienced.
That’s why I was so happy to be invited to contribute the content for a set of new pages on the CSP’s website to help people with neck pain.
It’s part of a wider drive by the CSP to overhaul its public-facing content and ensure more people have access to good, evidence-based advice when they need it.
The initiative – launching later this month – covers the most common MSK problems, from back pain to incontinence, and features simple advice that will help people on their way.
It’s a big step forward for our patients (and people who may not need to become our patients, as importantly), and now we need your help to make it a success.
The content has been written with ‘search engine optimisation’ in mind, meaning that it should appear higher up a Google search, but this will be aided by the number and quality of links to it from our sources.
Many patients arrive at our clinics with unhelpful beliefs
So if you have a website, a blog, or social media accounts, please do link to the pages when they are launched in late March.
The higher up the rankings we go, the lower the false and misleading information will fall.
Let’s work together to help drive up standards online.
- Chris Worsfold is a neck pain specialist physio and visiting lecturer at University of Hertfordshire
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