September 8th is World Physiotherapy Day. To mark this occasion this month’s piece is going to focus on the role of the physiotherapist. It will shed some light on the lesser known areas of physiotherapy both within and outside the hospital setting.
Physiotherapy is described as a health care profession concerned with human function and movement and maximising physical potential. The earliest documented record of physiotherapy dates back to 1813 when The Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics was established in Sweden. Physiotherapists in Ireland are registered with the regulatory body of CORU and are chartered through their membership of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP).
The job of a physiotherapist may often be associated with being pitch side with our All Ireland winning Kerry team! Physiotherapy may be synonymous with ‘hands-on’ treatments like massage or manipulations for sports injuries. In reality, a small minority of physiotherapists deal with such a caseload. The career of physiotherapy has evolved massively and now encompasses management of Rheumatological, Vestibular, Women’s and men’s health, Bone Health, Respiratory, Post Operative Recovery, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic issues.
The role of physiotherapist in critical care and respiratory was highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic. News reports and documentaries based in hospitals’ intensive care units portrayed how the physiotherapist is often responsible for the management of respiratory apparatus and ventilator settings. Within this setting, physiotherapists assist patients with airway clearance and breathing techniques. Here in the Bon Secours Physiotherapy Department, we have a physiotherapist with specialised training for management of chronic respiratory conditions like COPD or Post Covid.
Vestibular rehabilitation is an emerging area of physiotherapy. Physiotherapy input has been shown to be very effective in helping people with symptoms like dizziness, loss of balance and vertigo. In our physiotherapy department in the Bon Secours Tralee, we have therapists who have specialised in Vestibular Rehabilitation.
Another lesser known area of physiotherapy is management of ‘Women’s and Men’s Health.’ Conditions like incontinence and post partum pain are relatively common within the general population and there have been very favourable outcomes associated with physiotherapy input to help treat them. Another one of our staff members in the Bon Secours Hospital Physiotherapy Department has specialised in this area.
In summary there are multiple areas of healthcare that physiotherapy has a role in. From the Kerry Footballer on the pitch to the palliative care patient- physiotherapy has been shown to be a safe and effective way of improving quality of life and maximising physical potential.
If you think that you have an issue that we could help you with we would be happy to meet and assess you. Here at the Bon Secours Physiotherapy Department, All of our physiotherapists are Chartered and are CORU Registered. We are continually training and upskilling so we can provide expert care for Sports Injuries, Pain Management, Vestibular Rehabilitation, Bone Health & Osteoporosis, Hand Therapy and Orthopaedic Issues.