The World Health Organization determines that there are 5 healthcare professionals; doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and physiotherapists.
Physiotherapists are able to treat almost any condition or ailment.
At new leaf, we are able to treat almost any condition or ailment using one of the types of physiotherapy listed below. Our most common requests are related to:
low back pain
iliotibial band syndrome
post surgical total knee and hip replacements
post surgical hip fracture
post surgical spinal surgery laminectomy with and without fusion/instrumentation (if the surgeon puts metal/screws in the back)
post -natal care
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a health profession that is concerned with getting our client's moving again. We help clients with injuries, pain, stiffness, weakness and other issues with movement. It does not matter if the client's are a senior that just had surgery or an athlete injured or a toddler with cerebral palsy. Getting the client to move is where it all begins.
Physiotherapists are university trained and excel in injury diagnosis, treatment and prevention, exercise prescription and rehabilitation. We have the capacity to assess musculoskeletal (muscles, joints, ligaments and bones) injuries and design an evidence based treatment plan. This helps our clients get back to their normal lifestyle as soon as possible. Through education, we teach our clients, give them the skills required to take care of their bodies and minimize the risk of reinjury.
All practitioners of physical therapy in British Columbia must be registered with the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia.
Different types of physiotherapists?
There are many different types even though we all get the same training. Post graduate training is where the choosing of the pathway occurs. There are orthopaedic, neurological, cardiorespiratory and sport physiotherapists to name a few and I will describe each one and what they do.
The orthopaedic physiotherapist is the kind that most people think of when they think of this profession. They are concerned with the muscles, joints, bones and ligaments of the body. For example, if you are running and pull a muscle in your leg, this is the professional you would see, to help you most effectively. They will talk with you and find out where it hurts, how long ago the injury occurred, if the injury is getting better or worse to name a few things. They will then assess the body part and figure out what is the source of your pain. After that, figure out a treatment plan and work with you so that you feel better in the quickest possible time. This specialty is most likely to work in a private clinic. One pathway for further education, in Canada, is to go through the Canadian Physiotherapy Association's Orthopaedic Division education system and graduate get their Advanced Diploma of Manual and Manipulative Physical Therapy. This Advanced Diploma gives the member a Fellowship in CAMPT, Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapists, FCAMPT. This is an internationally recognized designation. As you can see, Rob has worked very hard to achieve his FCAMPT status.
Pelvic health physiotherapists work with both female and male patients experiencing pelvic pain, incontinence, and post-surgery. We also work with females on post-natal care. Assessments include looking at the low back, abdomen and hip. They can include an internal component (if agreed upon) to better assess the pelvic floor muscles. We will also ask questions about diet to help complete the whole picture. We not only provide exercises and recommendations to help you meet your goals, but also can refer on and connect you to other services in the community.
A neurological physiotherapist specializes in people that have a neurological condition. For example someone that has multiple sclerosis, MS or work with someone that has had a stroke. There are many things that can be done with the people suffering with a neurological condition. The steps to treatment are similar to above. First and most important is talking with the client or the client's loved one. In some instances, people suffering from a neurological condition cannot talk, it is called aphasia that is where talking with the loved one's come into play. Then assessing what movements the client's can do and what movements they cannot perform. Working on movement patterns with the clients and individual movements help to improve the client's movement ability.
Cardiorespiratory physiotherapists deal with clients who have respiratory/ lung disorders. A couple of examples of respiratory disorders are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis. Assessment of the client starts, yet again, with talking with client. Important information including the medication list the client is on, is gone over in the interview process. The physical assessment part may follow the IPPA protocol. IPPA stands for Inspection, Palpation, Percussion and Auscultation. Treatment may consist of teaching the client's different breathing techniques, postural drainage as well as percussions.
Sport physiotherapist work with athletes and teams. They perform similar assessments and treatments as their orthopaedic counterparts, however, their interventions may be more specific to the athletes main sport. In addition, these specialists are usually superior when using tape to help protect the injured joints. There is travelling with the local teams, volunteering with local tournaments on weekends, and possibly working with National Teams as they progress through their career. Many times when working with a team, assessment and treatments are not performed in a regular clinical setting. Assessments and treatments are performed in locker rooms, hotel rooms when travelling with team, at the sporting venue (i.e. mountain tops with skiers). This can make the job much more demanding and challenging than a regular "in the clinic" job.