Fitness Fanatic to Friendly "Injury Fixer"

People who frequent physiotherapy clinics and doctor surgeries might be familiar with the therapists and clinicians who work there. But not all of us have the time or money to access those services. That's why Online Physio App was formed, in a time where already-limited access to medical services was reduced further... by a global pandemic!

Arun Gray - Online Physio App

So I thought I would give you an insight into my background, who I am and why I got into the job I do.

I had always been a fan of sports and being active. As a child, I must have driven my parents crazy by not being able to sit still. I took part in a number of sports clubs and activities at school, from football, to tennis, to even jumping in (pardon the pun) on my mum's trampolining classes while she was at work! I think this love of sports was where my competitive nature began.

This carried on into my older years where the number of sports I was involved in peaked in my final years of school where I think I was playing a different one every day! I then enrolled on the Sport Science and Personal Training course at the University of Bedfordshire. I didn't really know what area of sport/exercise I wanted to go into. At the time, sport science was just becoming to pick up some speed within the media. It has been a part of elite sport for years but an insight into it only really started being shown to the world around the time I was studying; 2009-2012.

After 3 long years of my limited attention span fighting the urge to go and play sport rather than read book, I graduated.

I then went on to gaining an internship as the academy sports scientist at Peterborough United. I was there for a season before moving on to a similar role at Cambridge United, with the older players. As part of this role, I did some consultancy work for the Premier League, testing the fitness of academy players periodically over the season.

While this was all going on at work, I'd still travel 2 hours home every weekend to play football on a Saturday.

In 2012, without going into too much detail, I sadly lost one of my closest friends in a freak-incident during a football training session. With my health & fitness background along with qualifications, I ran to try and help but unfortunately, due to a underlying cardiac condition, there was nothing anyone could do and he sadly passed away that day.

This was obviously extremely difficult for everyone involved, so to be a 21 year old boy unexpectedly having to deal with something like that. It certainly changed my life.

Without thinking of it like this at the time, I think this was the point where I decided I wanted to help people. I'm not sure the mechanisms behind that way of thinking, and I don't ever really speak about it anymore. But I now had a reason for wanting to help others.

To skip a few years, I enrolled on a sports therapy master's course at Leeds Beckett University. Part of this course lead to me working at Coventry City with the men's senior squad, a crazy experience. I learnt so much and it cleared the muddy water of my career, I knew that's what I wanted to do.

While I was working there (still playing football 3 hours away on a Saturday...) I suffered an ACL injury. This put me out of action for around 6 months. Luckily, with the background and training I had, that was probably quicker that it could have been, and I did play the final 2 games of the season.

The following year I decided I was too injury prone to risk playing any more and was offered a position as the head of medical at semi-professional football club Boston Town. This was the first time I had lead the medical services of sports club, so I was very much thrown in the deep end. But I didn't have any choice but to crack on.

This is where it links back to my experience in 2012. Where back then, it was unexpectedly sprung onto me; my job was now to be pitch side incase any injuries or incidents were to happen. Throughout the season we experienced a range of different incidents on the pitch, including a life-threatening one. I was also responsible for helping rehab the injured players and get them back to fitness as quickly as possible.

It was during this time that I opened my first physical injury clinic in Skegness. I saw a range of injuries and met lots of people, and it definitely supported my work in the sporting environment.

After a couple of managerial changes, I left the club towards the end of the season. I was then offered the same role at a more local club, Skegness Town.

When I moved to Skegness Town, it wasn't long until my clinic moved with me. I based my private work at the club which meant all of my equipment was also in one place and available to the players.

I have seen hundreds of patients now after 3 years of my medical career, and whilst I have seen a huge range of injuries; I still see new things every single month.

Half way through season number 2 at Skegness Town Football Club, the season unexpectedly came to an end due to the outbreak of COVID-19. A global virus that caused the world to come to a standstill.

This is where I launched Online Physio. I wanted to still be able to help people, even when they couldn't reach me or access any medical services local to them. I've always given injury advice online to people who have followed my social media profiles; so I wanted to put lots of information in one place, and make it accessible for anyone.

The site offers a free, instantly online assessment which provides you with personalised advice dependant on your symptoms. My programmes are also priced to be much more affordable that traditional physiotherapy/sports therapy treatment. I have specifically only offered this advice to conditions I believe can be treated remotely. Some medical conditions require hands-on treatment from specialists and I'm very much going to leave that to them

Hopefully that gives you an insight into my busy life and how I got here... I look forward to seeing lots more people, injuries and experiences, along with helping people all over the world manage their injuries.

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