Physiotherapy is a healthcare/allied health profession which uses physical means and approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being, taking into account variations in health status, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Physiotherapists provide an extensive range of physical interventions to help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life, including:
- Physical activities
- Exercise and sport
- Relaxation techniques
- Management of acute and chronic pain
- Balance, postural and movement advice
- Manual therapy
These help with a variety of issues, such as musculoskeletal problems, falls management, mobility problems and anxiety management.
While mental health problems are perceived to have predominantly an effect on the mind, they can also affect the body/physical self. Issues such as anxiety, cognition difficulties, poor concentration or lack of motivation can impact on a service users response to conventional physiotherapy, however physiotherapists who specialise in mental health are experienced atworking with these issues.
Within the physiotherapy service we have a number of roles:
- Physiotherapists, ranging from those at a junior level who rotate in from acute hospitals, to those who are very experienced and who specialise in mental health
- Technical instructors who work alongside the physiotherapists to carry out treatment programmes and interventions
- Sports and leisure technicians, with sports and fitness-based qualifications, who manage exercise programmes for service users
As physiotherapists with AWP we work in all areas of mental health, including older people, adults of working age, eating disorders, secure services and the mother and baby service.
We work alongside a number of different staff, for example with a nurse to manage and reduce the risk of a service user having a fall while in hospital, or with an occupational therapist to help ensure that a service user doesnt lose any essential life skills or independence while being cared for.
We also advise and educate staff in general and community hospitals on the best ways of caring for people with mental health problems, alongside their physical ailments.