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Physical therapists are helping people become fit at every age.

Saturday 07 September 2013 - 13:19:51 | Physiotherapy News (International)

world-physiotherapy-day-2013.pngPhysical therapists can help people become fit and active contributors to society, whatever their physical limitations or stage of life. 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.

Every year, physical therapists help millions of people prevent and overcome musculo-skeletal problems and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer. They do this by recommending safe and appropriate exercise programmes.

They help people throughout the lifespan. Studies have shown that older adults engaged in regular physical activity demonstrate improved balance, strength, coordination, motor control, flexibility, blood pressure and endurance. At the other end of the age range, physical activity prescribed by physical therapists counters the in activity and poor posture in children that canlead to obesity, musculoskeletal disorders and a range of other problems in adult life.

That is why the message for this World Physical Therapy Day is Fit for the Future.

Marilyn Moffat, WCPT’s President, says that because of their specialist knowledge physicaltherapists can help all children, adults and older people participate in physical activity. "Physicaltherapists can help them overcome physical problems that may restrict their ability to move," she says.

"Physical activity doesn't just mean more healthy people, but happier more productive people, whether young or aging. It's time for all of us to be fit for the future."

For more information, contact your national physical therapy organisation (see www.wcpt.org/members ), see the complete article by Marilyn Moffat at http://bit.ly/192zEAD or email Simon Crompton at [email]

Physical Function Post Hip Replacement Surgery Improved By Walking Skills Program.

Sunday 02 June 2013 - 14:13:15 | Medical and Rehabilitation Science Research News

Researchers in Norway report that patients who receive walking skills training following total hip arthroplasty for osteoarthritis show improvedwalk.jpg unction. The physical therapy program displayed a positive effect on walking distance and stair climbing which continued 12 months following hip replacement surgery. Results of the study appear in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). 
 
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease where loss of cartilage in affected joints such as the knees, hips, fingers or spine causes pain and stiffness that can be disabling. In some cases, the only treatment option for OA is total replacement of the joint, known as arthroplasty. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10% of men and 18% of women 60 years of age and older suffer from OA. In the U.S., the National Hospital Discharge Survey reported that 230,000 Americans had hip replacement surgery in 2007. 
 
Previous research reported pain relief, a return to daily functioning, and maintaining an active lifestyle to be high priorities for hip replacement patients. Yet despite improvements in pain and mobility following surgery, several studies have shown patients with hip replacements had more walking impairment compared to healthy peers, and displayed poorer hip flexibility and muscle strength in their affected hip. "Physical therapy, particularly exercises that increase strength and improve walking, is a major component of patient rehabilitation following hip arthroplasty," said Kristi Elisabeth Heiberg, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oslo in Norway and lead author of the current study. 
 
To investigate the effects of a walking skills training program on walking, stair-climbing, balance, physical function, and pain, the research team recruited participants undergoing total hip arthroplasty at two hospitals in the Oslo area. Patients were enrolled consecutively from October 2008 through March 2010, with 68 patients randomized to either a training group (35) or in the control group (33). Participants had a mean age of 66 years, with 35 women and 33 men taking part in the study. Participants in the training group engaged in 12 sessions that were led by a physical therapist twice a week. Each 70 minute session was solely performed in weight-bearing positions and included physical activities such as sitting to standing, walking over obstacles, walking with turns, and climbing stairs. The aim of the training program was to improve patients' flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, and walking endurance following surgery. 
 
Results show those who took part in the walking program displayed significant improvement in physical performance measures and self-reported physical functioning at five months following surgery compared to the control group. Compared to baseline measures (3 months post surgery), 66% of subjects in the training group and 15% in the control group improved their walking distance to 164 feet (50 meters) or more by the fifth month following hip replacement surgery. At 12 months post surgery the training group showed greater improvement in walking distance and stair climbing abilities than the control. 
 
"The training program was well tolerated by patients and no complications were reports," concludes Ms. Heiberg. "Our findings suggest physical rehabilitation helps improve mobility and function in patients who received hip replacements."
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