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World Physical Therapy Day celebrates physiotherapists providing care to chronic pain patients

Photo: World Physical Therapy Day celebrates physiotherapists providing care to chronic....
To celebrate World Physical Therapy Day (WPTD) this Sunday September 8, the Physiotherapy Board of Australia (the Board) and the Australian Physiotherapy Council (the Council) are recognising the important care given by physiotherapists to patients suffering from chronic pain.

The key focus for this year’s WPTD is ‘chronic pain’, as a significant global health burden. Chronic pain causes more disability than any other condition.

The Board celebrates the critical contribution Australia’s 33,792 registered physiotherapists make towards patients receiving safe and ethical care that helps keep people healthy, active, mobile and independent – what the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) call the Movement for Health campaign.

Board Chair Kim Gibson said physical therapy and physiotherapists can help people with chronic pain develop the skills they need to manage and take control of their condition, increase their activity and improve their quality of life.
‘Physiotherapists must work from an evidence-base and be an active part of the integrated multi-professional team who work together to provide patient care. Their care can help patients get a better quality of life by helping patients manage and live with what can often be quite complex conditions.

‘Physiotherapists who provide assessment and treatment to patients with chronic pain have to be properly trained, qualified and competent to do so. Competence means they can understand an individual’s health and social needs. It is also about having the expertise, clinical and technical knowledge to deliver effective care and treatments based on research and evidence,’ she said.

‘I am proud to be part of a profession that is at the forefront of restoring vitality and wellbeing to those who suffer from chronic pain; an affliction that fells people in its clutches and left unchecked, can have such a damaging impact on every aspect of a person’s life.

The physical, emotional and financial toll of chronic pain cannot be underestimated. The fact that physiotherapists are the experts best placed to support their patients/clients in developing requisite skills and strategies to regain control over their condition, increase their activity and restore quality of life, is testament to the scale of their contribution to global health,’ Council CEO Anton Barnett-Harris said.

Board Chair Ms Kim Gibson added there are globally significant programs of work underway bringing physiotherapists to the forefront of patient care.

‘The World Health Organization’s Rehabilitation 2030 (Rehab 2030) initiative is also looking at the unmet need of rehabilitation and the important role physiotherapists play in providing quality safe care to patients.

Many Australians have been helped to overcome conditions, including chronic pain, without going to hospital, thanks to specialist care by rehabilitation teams that include physiotherapists.

‘We are asking practitioners to get informed and respond to the Rehab 2030 call to action to strengthen and extend rehabilitation in countries worldwide, including developing a strong multidisciplinary workforce,’ she added.

Patients expect that every time they see a physiotherapist that their practitioner is adhering to their obligations under the National Law [1] . This means they can be safe in the knowledge that their practitioner will put their best interests first.

The Board also publishes codes and guidelines for physiotherapists and maintains the national register of practitioners on their website, along with the most up-to-date information for practitioners.

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