Physiotherapy Assistant

4 Conditions You’ll Treat During Your Physiotherapy Assistant Career

December 08, 2017

pta working with a patient

Physiotherapy can be useful in treating a broad range of conditions, ranging from minor injuries to chronic problems which require long-term treatment and management. As a result, physiotherapy assistants can expect to deal with countless different kinds of ailments throughout their careers, as they apply their skills under the supervision of a physiotherapist in a diverse range of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centres, and specialized clinics.

While this can be challenging, and requires a breadth of different medical knowledge and skills, it is part of what makes being a physiotherapy assistant such an interesting and rewarding role. Curious about what kind of conditions you could be faced with during your career? Here are just a few of the most common.

1. Professionals with Physiotherapy Assistant Training Help Treat Arthritis

A condition which is estimated to affect over 20 per cent of the Canadian population, arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints in the body. There are many different forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis—a degenerative condition which occurs as a result of gradual wear and tear of the cartilage between joints—and inflammatory arthritis—which is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack its own tissues.

Arthritis can cause severe long-term pain, decreased mobility, stiffness, and swelling. Professionals with physiotherapy assistant training can play a vital role in assisting physiotherapists help those with arthritis by assisting patients with common rehabilitation exercises.

2. Physiotherapy can Be Very Effective in Helping Patients Manage Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is becoming increasingly common in today’s society, and can affect people from all walks of life. Office workers often develop back issues by sitting in the same position all day long, which causes their spinal discs to degenerate over time. Professionals with more physically demanding jobs can also be at a higher risk of suffering lower back injuries, due to continuous strain and improper lifting techniques.

Physiotherapy assistants working under the direction of physiotherapists are often heavily involved in the rehabilitation process for individuals with lower back pain, which can include many different rehabilitation exercises.

Employee holding his back in pain
Office workers are often at risk of developing lower back issues

3. Physiotherapy Assistants Working in Sports Often Deal with Achilles Tendonitis

Students who hope to work in sports medicine clinics after completing physiotherapy assistant courses can expect a number of specific injuries to crop up time and again. One of the most common issues seen in this line of work is Achilles tendonitis, which is an overuse injury caused by the inflammation of the tendon connecting the heel to the calf muscle.

Achilles tendonitis frequently occurs in runners and other athletes, and symptoms can include ankle pain, stiffness, and visible thickening of the tendon. Physiotherapy professionals will usually prescribe various stretching and lengthening exercises to help patients manage the condition.

4. Graduates of Physiotherapy Assistant Courses Play a Crucial Role in Post-Op Recovery

Recovering from major surgical procedures like hip replacements, knee replacements, and knee ligament reconstruction can be a long and challenging process for patients. They will usually have to undergo many months of physical therapy and rehabilitation in order to heal completely and regain a full range of motion in the affected area.

For physiotherapy assistants, this can often be one of the areas in which their skills and assistance is most useful. Patients recovering from surgery frequently experience mobility issues and extreme discomfort, as well as issues such as swelling and skin adhesions. Having a trained professional to assist with basic mobility, rehabilitation exercises, and the use of assistive devices and equipment can make a world of difference to their wellbeing, and help them to work positively towards a quick recovery.

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