Physiotherapy for people with haemophilia
David Stephenson is a physiotherapist who works at a number of haemophilia centres in the UK. Here he discusses the role of a physiotherapist and how they can help someone achieve their goals.
What is the role of a physiotherapist?
David says: “I used to see that broken down into a number of areas, first being prevention, so preventing problems happening so whether that be bleeds or deterioration in their condition. The other is protecting their joints, promoting to the good health and thirdly is rehabilitation to improve a patient’s musculoskeletal health condition. In that improving their lifestyle and health.”
How can a physiotherapist help someone to achieve their goals?
“I think the three key things that help a person with haemophilia achieve their potential really is understanding their condition from an early age so that they can make decisions about what they want to do and what they don’t want to do. So, we as a physiotherapist have a role in teaching patients about their joint health, about exercise, about movement.
Secondly, as a physiotherapist my philosophy is that we need to teach people to move better, then they can move more. We need to encourage them to be more active and physically active and live a healthier lifestyle.
Thirdly, I think what’s really good to patient outcomes and helps patient outcomes is people engage with the haemophilia centre. We as haemophilia clinicians can’t help patients if we don’t know what the problems are or what they want to do.”
What are your tips for a successful consultation?
“My tips for a patient that comes to a physiotherapy clinic about their haemophilia is to ask questions, ask questions, ask why and also tell the physiotherapist about any problem you’ve had.”
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