The Spinal Cord Injury Centre's Physiotherapy department provides care to all patients admitted via the Spinal Co-ordinator. This includes adults and children, acute patients who are admitted to the Intensive Treatment Unit, High Dependency Unit and the spinal injuries ward, as well as patients admitted for specialist rehabilitation and for tissue viability reasons.
Patients are allocated a named Physiotherapist who is responsible for their care from admission to discharge. Outpatient care is also offered to patients after their discharge, as required.
Therapy sessions are offered regularly and treatment is planned with the patient to address the problems identified in order to help them to achieve their goals. This may include:
Respiratory Physiotherapy: to maximise efficiency of breathing, help with clearing secretions, prevention and management of associated chest complications.
Pain management: assessment of aggravating factors and advice for modifying activity levels using the principles of pacing, or modalities such as TENS or acupuncture.
Passive movements: while on a bed rest, passive movements are performed to help prevent loss of joint range of movement and associated joint pain.
Bed mobility: depending on the level of injury and physical potential, techniques are taught to help patients achieve maximal independence with their mobility in bed.
Standing programme: depending on the level of injury, an appropriate standing programme will be commenced. This could be using a tilt table, grand stand or oswestry standing frame.
Body weight supported treadmill: For some patients with incomplete injuries who have the potential to walk, the treadmill system enables the body weight to be off-loaded and the ability to step automatically to be assessed.
Posture assessment: is carried out with the Occupational Therapists to ensure adequate seating provision and identify postural asymmetries in order to minimise secondary complications.
Functional transfers: are taught and practised with the Occupational Therapists to develop the skills necessary to optimise the ability to transfer in various situations. These skills are then developed into activities of daily living in order to produce optimum independence.
Hydrotherapy: offers the opportunity to assess muscle activity in a gravity eliminated environment and to utilise the medium of water to maximise function.
Exercise prescription advice: to promote improved health and well being. All patients are offered the option to participate in group swimming and sport sessions.
Swimming: sessions are offered every Wednesday at the Aspire pool which is fully wheelchair accessible.
Sport: sessions are offered twice weekly and include bowls, tennis, archery and table tennis. There is an inter-spinal unit games competition once a year at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Gym: patients can use the Aspire gym facilities and resistance equipment.
Functional electrical stimulation (FES): is used with appropriate patients to aid function such as walking, cycling, hand function.
Calliper training: uses upper limbs and a variety of external orthotics to aid mobilising with an appropriate mobility aid.
Passive upper limb and lower limb bikes: to aid circulation and maintain joint range of movement.