FysioCity: See a physiotherapist within 24 hours
At FysioCity, you can make an appointment online within 24 hours, even if it is your first time. Physiotherapist Robert Arkesteijn (33): "Our working days are long and flexible."
When Robert Arkesteijn cycles home after a working day, he considers himself lucky. As a physiotherapist in Amsterdam, he sees people with injuries, painful backs and work-related complaints on a daily basis. Most of the time he manages to take care of the worst pain during the first session.
“This profession gives me a great sense of satisfaction. You notice an immediate improvement. People who can barely move when they arrive, leave our clinic feeling happy and fit after only a few treatments.”
Arkesteijn holds a degree in physiotherapy from the University of Amsterdam after successfully completing a course at CIOS in Arnhem. Three years of work as an independent therapist taught him that the schedules of current patients often clash with the office hours of their therapists.
He founded FysioCity, a collective of ten physiotherapists in Amsterdam who work from early morning until late in the evening. “People can book an appointment online; and because our clinics are based in a gym; SportCity, our working days are long and flexible.”
See a physiotherapist within 24 hours
At FysioCity, you can book an appointment online and see someone within 24 hours, making it possible for patients to find themselves on the treatment table within no time at all.
Arkesteijn: “It is true that there are other clinics that offer the same online booking service. However, that only works for existing clients that have already registered as a patient. What makes us unique is that if you suffer from back pain late on a Friday evening, you can book an appointment with us immediately, even if it is the first time. You can choose a location, a therapist and a time - and then book your appointment for Saturday morning.”
Without a referral
Since 2006, you no longer need a referral from your GP or medical specialist if you want to be reimbursed for seeing a physiotherapist. An important step, says Arkesteijn, "Although not many people are aware that this has been the case for over ten years now."
“Physiotherapy has developed enormously in recent years- from massage therapy and dry needling to specific training and trigger point treatments. Because we are doing more sedentary work, the need for treatments is growing. There is a surprisingly high number of people with back problems. And the same goes for people with neck complaints. Although we also have many people coming in with lingering sports injuries such as heel spurs or knee issues. In short: we are mostly dealing with people who have moved in ways that are unnatural for the human body.”
Extensive opening hours
FysioCity started on April 1, 2017, with four physiotherapists; now there are ten. “Everyone works in five- or six-hour shifts. This is how we can offer our extensive opening hours, from 7am to 11pm on weekdays and until 7pm during weekends," says Arkesteijn.
The ten therapists also meet up regularly. Not only to "enhance the team spirit" but also to share experiences.
According to Arkesteijn, physiotherapy is very much a personal matter: “We approach all our patients in a unique and personal way. Treating a pain complaint or a health problem successfully means going on a journey together: There must be a relationship based on trust between practitioner and patient. Is the patient aware of their exact complaints? Are they prepared to do the exercises at home that will improve their condition? These questions can only be answered properly if the relationship between both parties is good.”
Arkesteijn - who until recently played baseball for the Amsterdam Pirates - keeps fit by working out in the gym. And, of course, by cycling through the city every day.
“Wherever I go, I always look at everything from a physiotherapist's point of view. I always notice people walking around with knee or hip problems. Sometimes I really have to restrain myself - it's so tempting to quickly give some help and advice. I don’t mind admitting that I suffer from professional deformation in that sense. It is a delicate balance: the difference between waking up in pain and feeling fit in the morning often lies in a tiny detail.”