How A Digital Nomad Fixed His Knee And Got Back to Running

For those of you who haven’t had an online consultation experience with Online Physio, I am sure you are curious as to how it all works. For that reason, I am going to share with you some case studies of patients who have made their recovery journey with us. Naturally the names and identifying features of these people will be changed, but you will still be able to get an idea of the challenges they were facing and how we were able to help.


Today I want to share with you the story of 34 year old Gus.


Gus is a website developer. When he reached out to us he was based in Canada, but was shortly moving back to his home country of England, with a few months of travels on his way home.


Gus was making the switch from being office based, to working on the road from his laptop. In anticipation of his upcoming travels, and some of the hiking he was planning to do, Gus started going for some runs. Although he was a healthy weight, Gus had not done exercise for a long time, and developed knee pain after going for a few runs.

Knowing that he was heading off travelling, but wanting to be able to recover on the road, Gus contacted Online Physio.


First, Gus filled out our initial assessment form, which is intuitively programmed to ask questions based on the answers he has already given, to gather all of the initial information that I, as his Physiotherapist, needed to get started.


Once I received Gus’s answers, I was able to quickly ascertain what else I needed to find out. I wanted to know an exact location for the pain, as that would help greatly in identifying what structure was causing the pain. I also wanted to see if there were differences in quadriceps length, as I knew tightness could increase load on the kneecap.


Next I sent Gus a list of physical assessment tasks to complete, with clear descriptions and images explaining what I wanted him to do. This included Gus taking a photo of his knee with his finger on the main site of pain/tenderness, and also his feedback on a task lying on his tummy pulling each heel to his bottom in turn, which would tell me about his quadricep muscle length.


Gus was able to complete these tasks in his own time after work, and send his responses through to me.


With a photo of Gus’s finger pointing to the inner border of his kneecap, and with a report of tightness on the affected quadricep compared to the other side (among other test findings) I was able to confirm my hunch that the patello femoral joint (kneecap) was to blame.


Gus and I then had a video call to discuss his knee issue, and the plan for rehabilitation. Because we had already done most of the assessment process, we did not have to spend the video call having him awkwardly try and do tests in front of the camera, we were simply able to spend the time getting to know each other better, go through some clear explanations about what had caused his pain, and what the action plan was for his recovery.


Following the video call, I sent Gus his exercise program through to his smartphone with the Physitrack app, which gave him clear instructional videos, suggested reps, allowed him to rate his pain each day, and even enabled him to set reminders to exercise.


As Gus set off on his travels, he was ready to start running again, and he started a structured run and hike training program. With every training run in a new city, Gus was able to explore and recover at the same time. That’s what you call living the dream!


With Gus and I messaging securely back and forth in the app, we eventually progressed his rehabilitation to the point where he hiked to Everest Base Camp in Nepal with no issues. He was last seen tucking into a hearty meal in Kathmandu.


If you have any questions about our online consultation process, be sure to let us know.