If someone were to mention physiotherapy jobs to you, your first thought will probably be a role on a pitchside, training ground or gym. In the media, we are made aware of how instrumental physios are to any type of athlete’s success. However, this does not mean that most physiotherapy jobs are based within sport. In fact, it is a very small amount (around 1-2% of university physiotherapy graduates) that go into professional sports. In this article, we will look at other specialities within physiotherapy. If you are considering a physiotherapy degree, chances are any of these roles talked about are a much more likely career path than one within sport.
Physiotherapy is often thought of as relating to muscles, joints, and other forms of physical movement. One aspect that can often be overlooked is respiratory physiotherapy. In this area, you will be dealing with assisted breathing, often at critical stages in a patient’s life. This might involve processes such as clearing the lungs of fluid, rehabilitation after a lung transplant, or helping the respiratory process with medical machinery after a serious injury. This type of physio role is largely based in hospitals, sometimes directly within an ICU, depending on the specificity of your role.
Respiratory physiotherapy can be a large factor within geriatric physiotherapy. Mostly though, this form of physiotherapy is concerned with how age deteriorates our muscles and bones. Often, this debilitation occurs due to bad posture or damaging gait. Something we don’t recognise due to overcompensation within the rest of our body. This becomes a problem in old age when too much of a strain has been taken by this unequal overcompensation. Geriatric physiotherapy tries to right these wrongs by helping patients learn correct posture and a variety of exercises and specific movements to practice.
Something we all take for granted is how easy we find it to balance. This sense of balance stems from the ears. When health problems affect the inner ear, then it can play havoc with our balance. Leading to problems such as chronic dizziness and vertigo. A physiotherapist can specialise in vestibular rehabilitation to aid people who are having these issues. It teaches ways in which your body can find new ways in which to have better balance, removing the reliance from the inner ear. There are also ways in which to teach the use of muscles to become steadier and sturdier, this means a firmer foundation, thus reducing the chance of imbalance.