A Physio writes: World Physiotherapy Day

With World Physiotherapy Day coming up on 8th September, we asked Will Kenton, Head of Physiotherapy at Teladoc Health UK, to explain the cause – 


What is World Physiotherapy Day?

In 1996, 8th September was designated as World Physiotherapy Day. This is the date World Physiotherapy was founded in 1951.


The day marks the unity and solidarity of the physiotherapy community. It is an opportunity to recognise the work that physiotherapists do for their patients and community. Using World Physiotherapy Day as a focus, World Physiotherapy aims to support member organisations in their efforts to promote the profession and advance their expertise.


Why is it important?

For some, perhaps those who have never needed the support of a Physiotherapist, World Physiotherapy Day can provide some insight into the work that Physiotherapists do on a daily basis. For many, a Physiotherapist may conjure up images of someone who prods, pulls, pushes your body and perhaps gives you exercises to complete.


On the contrary, the role of a Physiotherapist can be incredibly varied across a multitude of settings, such as hospitals, GP surgeries, remote healthcare, sports teams, charities and the armed forces to name just a few areas of work.


World Physiotherapy day is also a great opportunity to showcase information regarding certain health care conditions. This is of great benefit to patients or those with an active interest in helping learn more about their condition.


Last year, the focus for World Physiotherapy day was osteoarthritis. Some fantastic information sheets were created regarding osteoarthritis which can be downloaded use the link below. How often can do you hear conflicting information about your osteoarthritis? I can’t tell you how many of my patients thought they needed to stop running completely with their diagnosis. Click here for some really helpful information;


So, World PT Day helps get the right message across?

Exactly – World Physiotherapy Day provides a platform for sharing evidence-based information to the community, whilst showcasing the profession across the globe.


As part of my role for example, I assess and treat patients remotely via video link, and help them manage their injury or problem through advice and exercise. All without the need for the patient to come and see me in person. The misconception is often that without understanding the role of a Physiotherapist, it can be difficult to know what sort of support they can offer you.


So, what’s the focus of World Physiotherapy Day 2023?

The focus for 2023 will be on other rheumatological conditions.


What are Rheumatological conditions?

Rheumatological conditions or rheumatic disease is an umbrella term that refers to arthritis and several other conditions that affect joints, tendons, muscle, ligaments and bones. The most common rheumatological condition is osteoarthritis, which causes a loss of the cartilage in various joints of the body. This causes pain, stiffness with swelling also sometimes experienced by sufferers. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but is very commonly experienced in the knees, hips, and small joints of the hands. It is typically experienced in older populations.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on the other hand is a condition in which the immune system attacks healthy cells. It can cause inflammation, swelling, and pain in several joints at once. Often it is referred to by healthcare professionals as inflammatory arthritis. Unlikely osteoarthritis, RA can affect younger populations, typically under the age of 45.


There are also other lots types of rheumatic diseases, with Physiotherapy playing a key role in their management. Living with any long-term condition can significantly impact on a person and even reduced fitness. Individuals may even begin to struggle with daily tasks that we take for granted. Physiotherapists are great enablers, supporting patients improve muscle strength, mobility and most importantly, maintain their independence and a good quality of life.


In addition, exercise more recently has been found to act as an anti in-inflammatory agent by itself. This can help an individual better control their condition, limit flares and better self-manage their condition.


If you want to learn more about Rheumatological conditions, Versus Arthritis has some fantastic resources, helping you understand more about these conditions and how they can be managed effectively. Check out their website on: https://www.versusarthritis.org/ and don’t forget to check out https://world.physio/wptday on the 8th September to see what is happen around the globe for World Physiotherapy Day!

Author: Will Kenton


Latest Blogs

Send Us A Message

Opinion PDF's

Please enter your email for instant download.