Physiotherapy is a profession – not a treatment. As many professions do, there are multiple specialisms, in which Chartered Physiotherapists train, and work in for years to develop their clinical excellence. Physiotherapy is about helping people, or animals (if trained), in maintaining their health and well-being, through education, movement, exercise, strength and conditioning, manual therapy and electrotherapy. Our aims are to encourage development, facilitate recovery and enable individuals to remain independent for as long as possible. This is a science-based profession, and through rigorous training and clinical placement, we ensure we have experience in:
- Musculoskeletal (bones and soft tissues)
- Neurological (nerves, brain and spinal cord)
- Respiratory (lungs and breathing)
- Cardiovascular (heart, veins and arteries)
This is all before we select the specialism we choose to build our experience.
Physiotherapist or Physical Therapist, or providing the provision of Physiotherapy, is a legally protected title by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Unfortunately, as soon as the word ‘animal’ or ‘veterinary’ is placed in-front, it is no longer protected. We study and train for years to develop clinical reasoning. This helps us to establish an awareness of normal, and most importantly, abnormal tissue or joint feel. We recognise ‘red flags’ – warning signs of serious pathology, but also have the understanding of signs that are less serious in nature. This is why we are utilised in every area of the NHS, from hospitals, outpatient clinics, and specialist centres in Neurological Rehabilitation, Trauma and Orthopaedics, Elderly Care and Oncology.
So what does a Physiotherapist do?
- Gait assessment – watching the individual move and walk
- Gain a subjective history – this can guide an assessment and diagnosis very crucially
- Observe specific movements
- Perform special tests on certain joints – these can assist in specifying a certain injured tissue
- Feel how the joints move through their available range of movement
- Test the muscles’ strength
- Identify certain triggers of pain
- Identify normal and abnormal soft tissue feel
- Check co-ordination and synchronization of muscle groups
- Use all of the above, and develop a clinically reasoned, evidence-based, exercise and treatment programme!
Set the standard for your animals that you would expect for yourself or a family member, and choose a Chartered Physiotherapist. They have completed at least five years training in total to specialise in assessing and treating animals, as well as humans, and commit to life-long professional development.
We are trained to assess gait, behaviour, range of movement, muscle strength, proprioception and efficiency. Injury prevention is essential for optimising performance – don’t wait until it’s too late.
Our specialism is restoring movement and function. This is perhaps the area Physiotherapy is most known for. Time isn’t always necessarily a healer, as learned non-use or compensation can occur after injury or illness. The earlier the intervention, the more modifiable the outcome.
Not every condition, injury or ailment can be changed or cured. But with optimising health and wellbeing sitting at the core of our beliefs – there are always management strategies and treatments for comfort that can help you or your animal to have the best quality of life possible.