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Physiotherapy uses controlled movement (manipulation) to help with muscle and joint strength and movement.
Physiotherapists try to make movement as natural as possible. Physiotherapy can be necessary after an accident or an operation, or because of a condition present at birth. We can be found on all the wards, and there is also a separate Physiotherapy Department, with its own gym, which sees outpatients as well as children from the wards if they are well enough to come to the department.
There are three broad areas of work for the physiotherapists in the hospital:
- Chest physiotherapy concentrates on clearing the lungs and helping with breathing. Secretions can build up in the lungs in certain conditions such as cystic fibrosis or while a child is being treated on Intensive Care (PICU), and the physiotherapist will help to clear these.
- Neurological/Musculoskeletal physiotherapy will help with re-building muscle and joint strength and movement such as after an operation, or helping with posture and standing after an accident.
- Burns physiotherapy specialises in restoring or keeping movement after a burn injury. Burns can easily cause muscles, joints and skin to become tight, and without physiotherapy they would not heal properly.
Assessment is an important part of physiotherapy, and we will gauge how best to use the techniques and equipment for every child. We also help when special equipment such as surgical appliances are fitted.
As well as treating children on the wards, in clinics and within the department, we use hydrotherapy facilities and do home and school visits when indicated. We also work with other local hospitals and in special schools and child and family centres.