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This physio won’t rest until he’s solved the underlying industry strains in M’sia

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[This is a sponsored article with Apple Physio Rehab.]

If you’ve considered visiting a physiotherapist to treat existing problems and pains, one observation might be that it’s actually quite hard to find the right centre to treat your specific condition.

Many centres offer a wide range of services that—although isn’t necessarily bad—may not properly sort your problems.

This lack of specialisation was something that Vincent Tan noticed even back in 2011. He launched his own practice to address this and set out to do two things: offer better treatments, and elevate the industry through education to produce more specialists.

Thus a decade ago, Apple Physio Rehab opened its doors, offering clinical treatments in orthopaedic and sports injury therapy. 

Fixing a pain of his own

Clinical treatments put emphasis on observing patients, performing a diagnosis, and administering the appropriate treatment. Being good at clinical treatments takes time and practice.

At 24 and still undergoing his clinical placements at hospitals, Vincent felt he simply didn’t have enough time with patients. To treat a patient better, a physiotherapist may need to spend more time with them to fully understand their conditions. Being able to hone in on the issue helps them administer the perfect solution. 

An Apple Physio Rehab centre where treatment and classes happen / Image credit: Apple Physio Rehab

With the launch of Apple Physio Rehab, Vincent wanted to make a patient-centric practice that provides a comprehensive treatment experience. Patients would be carefully guided throughout each stage of their therapy process, from the point of diagnosis through to post-op recoveries. 

But to accommodate a more holistic approach to treatment, he knew he needed a practice that only does a few things and does them well. 

“That’s why Apple Physio Rehab focuses on clinical treatments only, which excludes fitness and wellness services,” he added.

Vincent believes that this focused approach is what sets him apart then and now, which checks out with a quick search, since specialists are still hard to come by today.

Some of the treatments offered include neck and back pains, joint problems in the elbow, wrist, shoulder, and ankle, back bracing for scoliosis patients, and sports physiotherapy to treat injuries from strenuous activities. 

Education is key

Prior to starting his own business, Vincent already had strong fundamentals in his chosen discipline, even at a young age. He attributes this to the training he had received while overseas, on top of the skills he had already gained during his clinical placements.

He realised the importance of constantly equipping himself with up-to-date skills. But the problem was, local access to educational resources was low, so physicians opted to travel abroad. This posed another issue: not everyone could afford the expensive travel fares.

Because of this, the quality of the therapists in the country stagnated and Vincent decided to do something about it.

Vincent Tan (left) and Jess Lim (right) attending to patients / Image credit: Apple Physio Rehab

He set up his own training centre called Advance Rehabcare Academy, and through it, his team organises training programmes hosted by experts from across the globe, namely Australia and the UK. 

To date, the centre has run over 15 courses, and you can expect to see four to five programmes organised each year. Apple Physio Rehab’s team also joins international training courses up to twice a year.

These training programmes are in line with Apple Physio Rehab’s culture of emphasising education as a way to uplift the physiotherapy industry in Malaysia. Participants will be able to update their skillsets and learn techniques used outside of just orthopaedic and sports injury therapy.  

Mastery of their skills

Through all the training, the team believes that they can confidently utilise high-level hands-on techniques to increase the effectiveness of treatments, and improve the recovery process. 

Their skills have even allowed them to treat particularly difficult problems such as delayed post-surgery rehab. 

Jess Lim (left) and Lim Hooi Chin (right) making assessments / Image credit: Apple Physio Rehab

The brand has had notable personalities come through its doors including national diver Pandalela Rinong, and ironman triathlon athlete Rupert Chen. So it wasn’t surprising to hear that Apple Physio Rehab’s wide customer base grew thanks to the customers’ word of mouth. 

They now operate four branches across Klang Valley and Penang. With over 180,000 patient visits, they get up to 550 patrons on average every month too. 

Contributing to this number is the 50% increase in work-from-home injuries the clinic has gotten during the lockdowns. I would think the walls of our homes would shield us from bodily harm, but I was wrong.

The most common cases are caused by bad posture and poor form when working out at home. I can attest to the former because spending hours in front of my computer really isn’t doing my back any good. 

Giving back to the community

Besides uplifting their fellow practitioners, the centre also emphasises helping the community. Its therapists sometimes run awareness talks and free physio services at churches, public sports events, and even big-name affiliates such as Maxis. 

In the future, Apple Physio Rehab is expanding to two more outlets in KL and Puchong too. They may be seeing the fruits of their efforts now, but the success of a business isn’t just the efforts of a single person.

Vincent highlights the support he’s received from his management team, Jess Lim and Lim Hooi Chin, as well as the other core Apple Physio Rehab therapists who have worked with them over the years, as a key component to the growth of the brand.

Vincent with Lim Hooi Chin and Jess Lim / Image credit: Apple Physio Rehab

Through this expansion, the team hopes to make reliable physiotherapy treatments accessible to more people. With the academy, they’ll be able to educate and train a new generation of physiotherapists to take the reins at these new establishments.

Looking back at how far the Malaysian physiotherapy industry has come, Vincent tells me that the general awareness towards the profession is much higher now, and we have more experts we can count on. 

I for one am glad that is the case because this persistent backache of mine needs seeing-to pretty soon.

  • Learn more about Apple Physio Rehab here.

Featured Image Credit: Apple Physio Rehab

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