HAPPY WORLD PHYSICAL THERAPY DAY
September 8 is World Physical Therapy Day
A Press Release by Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy
WORLD PHYSICAL THERAPY DAY 2015 - FULFILLING POTENTIALS
About World Physical Therapy Day
World Physical Therapy Day falls on 8th September every year, and is an opportunity for physical therapists from all over the world to raise awareness about their crucial role in keeping people well, mobile and independent. The day was established by World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) in 1996, and marks the date on which WCPT was founded in 1951. The WCPT is the profession’s global body representing over 350,000 physical therapists/ physiotherapists from member organisations in 111 countries.
Physical therapists help people lead fulfilled lives
Physical therapists have a key role in helping people with long-term conditions achieve their goals, fulfill their potential and participate fully in society. This is the message that thousands of physical therapists (known in some countries as physiotherapists) are sending out on World Physical Therapy Day on 8th September. World Physical Therapy Day, 8th September, is an opportunity for physical therapists around the world to raise the profile of the profession, and highlight its contribution to global health.
Many people with long-term health conditions or disabilities lead fulfilled lives. But some do not because they do not receive the right kind of support. This can be devastating to individuals and this waste of potential also has a cost to others: families, communities and societies. A recent study showed that the loss of global economic output as a result of long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and cancer will be US$ 63 trillion over the next 20 years.
However, it needn’t be like that, says WCPT. “The people who seek and need the services of physical therapists range from babies to older people, from people with profound disabilities to the highest performing athletes. Through our engagement with them and our focus on physical activity, exercise and movement we have the power to ensure that people reach their potential whatever that may be,” says Emma Stokes, the WCPT President. “Increasingly, the evidence is there in support of the value of physical therapy. Let’s use World Physical Therapy Day to communicate the impact that physical therapy can have on individual lives, and to reach out to politicians and other key decision makers to move our profession closer to fulfilling its full potential in changing the lives of the people we serve.”
About physical therapy
Physical therapy provides services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing services in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, pain, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy.
Physical therapy is concerned with identifying and maximising quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation and rehabilitation. This encompasses physical, psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. Physical therapy involves the interaction between the physical therapist, patients/clients, other health professionals, families, care givers and communities in a process where movement potential is assessed and goals are agreed upon, using knowledge and skills unique to physical therapist.
The Physical Therapist (Physiotherapist)
Physical therapists (known in many countries as physiotherapists) are experts in developing and maintaining people’s ability to move and function throughout their lives. With an advanced understanding of how the body moves and what keeps it from moving well, they promote wellness, mobility and independence. They treat and prevent many problems caused by pain, illness, disability and disease, sport and work related injuries, ageing and inactivity.
Physical therapists are educated over several years, giving them a full knowledge of the body’s systems and the skills to treat a wide range of problems. This education is usually university-based, at a level that allows physical therapists to practise independently. Continuing education ensures that they keep up to date with the latest advances in research and practice. Many physical therapists are engaged in research themselves.
Physical therapists operate as independent practitioners, as well as members of health service provider teams, and are subject to the ethical principles of WCPT. They are able to act as first contact practitioners, and patients/clients may seek direct services without referral from another health care professional.
The education and clinical practice of physical therapists will vary according to the social, economic, cultural and political contexts in which they practice. However, it is a single profession, and the first professional qualification, obtained in any country, represents the completion of a curriculum that qualifies the physical therapist to use the professional title and to practise as an independent professional.
Physical therapists are qualified and professionally required to:
*undertake a comprehensive examination/assessment of the patient/client or needs of a client group
*evaluate the findings from the examination/assessment to make clinical judgments regarding patients/clients
*formulate a diagnosis, prognosis and plan
*provide consultation within their expertise and determine when patients/clients need to be referred to another healthcare professional
implement a physical therapist intervention/treatment programme
*determine the outcomes of any interventions/treatments
make recommendations for self-management.
The physical therapist’s extensive knowledge of the body and its movement needs and potential is central to determining strategies for diagnosis and intervention. The practice settings will vary according to whether the physical therapy is concerned with health promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation or rehabilitation.
The scope of physical therapy practice is not limited to direct patient/client care, but also includes:
public health strategies
advocating for patients/clients and for health
supervising and delegating to others
developing and implementing health policy, locally, nationally and internationally
Where is physical therapy practised?
Physical therapy is an essential part of the health and community/welfare services delivery systems. Physical therapists practise independently of other health care/service providers and also within interdisciplinary rehabilitation/habilitation programmes that aim to prevent movement disorders or maintain/restore optimal function and quality of life in individuals with movement disorders. Physical therapists practise in a wide variety of settings.
Physical therapists are guided by their own code of ethical principles. Thus, they may have any of the following purposes:
1. promoting the health and wellbeing of individuals and the general public/society, emphasising the importance of physical activity and exercise
2. preventing impairments, activity limitations, participatory restrictions and disabilities in individuals at risk of altered movement behaviours due to health factors, socio-economic stressors, environmental factors and lifestyle factors
3. providing interventions/treatment to restore integrity of body systems essential to movement, maximise function and recuperation, minimise incapacity, and enhance the quality of life, independent living and workability in individuals and groups of individuals with altered movement behaviours resulting from impairments, activity limitations, participatory restrictions and disabilities
4. modifying environmental, home and work access and barriers to ensure full participation in one’s normal and expected societal roles..
About the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy
The Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP), the embodiment of Physiotherapists in Nigeria, is a member of the World confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) and a leading member of the WCPT Africa Region (WCPTA). The NSP shares in the principles of the WCPT that every individual is entitled to the highest possible standard of culturally appropriate health care provided in an atmosphere of trust and respect for human dignity and determined by sound clinical reasoning and scientific evidence.
The Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) is the national professional body representing physiotherapists trained around the world practicing in Nigeria. The Society has chapters in all states of the Federation and is a member of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT). The NSP shares in the principle of WCPT that every individual is entitled to the highest possible standard of culturally appropriate healthcare provided in an atmosphere of trust and respect for dignity.