September 19, 2023

Digital physiotherapy solution resolves lower back pain in 5 months

Patient begins treatment within 24 hours of referral thanks to Phio.

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Image credit: 
Ageing Better: David Tett

The patient

A 60-year-old male patient was referred to physiotherapy for lower back pain. He completed a Phio Access assessment the next day. Following an assessment of his symptoms he was signposted to Phio Engage for self-management with a guided rehabilitation programme. 


 The patient completed the online assessment using Phio Access in 20 minutes.

  • The increase in lower back pain appeared to coincide with recently starting exercise in the gym and the pain was made worse by bending and lifting.
  • The patient stated that his symptoms were more obvious in the morning, explaining he was stiff for 5-30 mins after getting up, which gradually eased with movement. 
  • He rated his pain levels as 5/10.


Based on his responses during the assessment of his symptoms the patient was signposted to self-management using Phio Engage. At this point he was given the option to revert to face-to-face physiotherapy session, but he was happy to engage and registered on the app on the same day.

  • He was asked to rate his ability to do specific tasks from 0-10 (with 0 being unable to do a task and 10 to complete perfectly). His primary goal, to attend the gym, he rated at 6 and his secondary goal, driving, he rated at 5.
  • He started on the lumbar exercise programme which has six exercise stages that get progressively more challenging, to be completed over a 12-week period
  • The patient completed 61 daily and 14 weekly assessments during his programme that were reviewed by a physiotherapist to ensure he wasn’t having an adverse response such as increased pain, or changes in sleep or morning stiffness.
  • The patient reported morning stiffness seven times at the beginning of the programme, but clinician review did not require a change to the plan.
  • He also used the chat function to talk directly to a clinician six times


  • 74% average improvement in goals.
  • 50% less pain in the first week. 
  • 25% improvement in sleep quality in two weeks.
  • After five months, the patient was attending the gym most days and he said the exercises were beneficial.

Patient feedback

  • Great user experience and would recommend Phio to others.
  • Notifications improved his adherence to the programme.
  • Used the live chat function for reassurance.

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