By Leanne Rees, Physiotherapist and Project Lead for Victoria, Austin Health 

If you have a spinal cord injury you have most likely seen a physiotherapist at some stage. Physiotherapy treatment for people with spinal cord injury can include many things, such as treatment for your breathing, skills to get out and about in the community, and helping you to be fit and healthy. 

People say once they have left hospital after sustaining a spinal cord injury, receiving the right health care, including physiotherapy treatment, can sometimes be difficult. One reason for this is that compared to other health conditions, such as a stroke, a spinal cord injury does not happen to many people. 

We also know that a spinal cord injury can result in many different problems and experiences. Together, this can sometimes make it difficult for a healthcare professional to know what the best treatment might be for someone with a spinal cord injury. 

Healthcare professionals have been telling us they would like better support and training in effectively treating people with spinal cord injury. So, a team of physiotherapists, researchers, and people with spinal cord injury across Australia and New Zealand have developed an SCI Physiotherapy Clinical Practice Guideline. 

This was done by searching for the best research and talking to people who have worked with people with spinal cord injury for a long time. This process took two years, and the new guideline is now ready. It can be found here.

To make sure everyone knows about the guideline, and to provide support on how to follow the recommendations in the guideline, the Victorian Spinal Cord Service will carry out information and education sessions to health professionals in Victoria. 

We also welcome anyone with a spinal cord injury to share the guideline with the health professionals they may be working with. This will help us to ensure the guidelines are reaching the right people. 

For further information about the Victorian rollout of the guidelines, please feel free to contact Leanne Rees, Senior Physiotherapist and Project Lead for Victoria, Austin Health at: [email protected] 

This project has been an initiative of Professor Lisa Harvey and A/Professor Joanne Glinsky from the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research at the University of Sydney and funded by icare with support by TAC.

  • July 11, 2023

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