Above photo: Jacek Kobza, Physiotherapist at the Mary Pack Arthritis Centre in Vancouver educating patients on arthritis joint involvement with Harry, the skeleton.
May is National Physiotherapy Month. To celebrate, the 400 Vancouver Coastal Heath physiotherapists and rehabilitation assistants would like to share what they do every day. From highly specialized acute care settings in Vancouver to small rural community settings in Bella Coola, VCH physiotherapists and rehabilitation assistants treat a wide range of people and conditions. This week we are highlighting the arthritis physiotherapists.
Arthritis refers to more than 100 related conditions affecting people’s joints. It can strike anyone at anytime, regardless of age, physical condition or ethnic background. Many people living with arthritis can lead active and fulfilling lives if the disease is diagnosed early and an appropriate treatment plan has begun.
Physiotherapists help patients improve their joint health, and restore muscle strength and endurance — all of which helps those affected return to regular activities and normal daily living. Although it is a chronic condition, early treatment with physiotherapy can help to slow the progression of arthritis or even the need for surgery and in some cases, drug dependency long term.
Multiple types of arthritis are treated at various arthritis programs across the region and physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants work in collaboration with occupational therapists, nurses, social workers and rheumatologists. Treatment offered comes many forms - from education to exercise prescription to group classes – all with a specific aim. Helping those living with this chronic condition learn the self-management skills to lead active and fulfilling lives.