Paulina Strak, M.Phty, B.Phty

A Physiotherapist is unique to a patient’s needs and their health condition. Treatment will depend on the needs of the patient. A session may involve:

  • Assessing and diagnosing the patient’s condition and needs.
  • Working with the patient to set and attain goals
  • Developing a treatment or prevention plan that will take into account lifestyle, activities and general health
  • Prescribing exercise and physical aides

 Some of the needs for physiotherapists address include:

  • Cardiorespiratory – prevents, rehabilitates and supports people living with, or at risk of diseases and injuries affecting the heart and lungs, such as heart disease or asthma. Physiotherapists help patients prepare for or recover from surgery and prescribe exercises and other interventions to improve quality of life.
  • Cancer, palliative care, and lymphoedema– address a range of patient needs, including treating, managing or preventing fatigue, pain, muscle, and joint stiffness, and deconditioning.
  • Continence and women’s health– manages and prevents incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction in men, women, and children. Physiotherapists work in areas including pregnancy, birth, post-partum care, breastfeeding, menopause, bedwetting, prolapse, loss of bladder or bowel control, and with men living with or recovering from prostate cancer.
  • Supporting older Australians– uses evidence-based care to promote healthy and active ageing among older Australians. Working in the home and residential aged care settings, physiotherapists help manage or prevent the effects of conditions or risks such as osteoporosis, incontinence, and falls.
  • Musculoskeletal– prevents and treats clients with musculoskeletal conditions such as neck and back pain. Techniques include addressing underlying problems, preventing strain and injury, and prescribing exercises and other interventions to promote mobility.
  • Neurology– promotes movement and quality of life in patients who have had a severe brain or spinal cord damage from trauma, or who suffer from neurological diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Orthopaedic– helps patients prevent or manage acute or chronic orthopaedic conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and amputations. Physiotherapists also help patients prepare for or rehabilitate from orthopaedic surgery or another orthopaedic hospital admissions.
  • Occupational health– supports the health and well-being of workers, reduces safety risks in the workplace, prevents and manages injuries and diseases, and support workers in returning to work.
  • Paediatric (supporting infants and children)– aims to prevent conditions such as plagiocephaly (misshapen head) or support a child’s development such as addressing milestone delays with sitting and walking, clumsiness, or hyperactivity.
  • Pain – manages or prevents pain and its impact on function in patients using a psychologically informed and interdisciplinary approach. Physiotherapists work with other health and social care professionals to manage pain at the acute stage of an injury or condition, including by identifying psychosocial risk factors that may lead to chronicity.
  • Sports – prevents, diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal and sporting injuries among all types of people, from professional athletes to everyday Australians.
  • Acupuncture and dry needling – which helps to manage both chronic and acute conditions such as sprains and strains, spinal dysfunction, arthritis, and neurological conditions.
  • Aquatic – using a pool, physiotherapists treat patients with a multitude of conditions using hydrotherapy including sports injuries, post-operative and orthopaedic conditions, spinal pain and/or injuries and arthritis. Aquatic physiotherapy is popular for aged care.

Physiotherapists work closely with GPs and other health clinicians to plan and manage treatment.

Paulina’s professional interests include, but are not limited to:

Neurological Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, including patients post Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury post-traumatic accident, and progressive neurological conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.

 Paediatric Physiotherapy, supporting the neuromuscular development of children, including Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy.

 Geriatrics, balance and falls prevention programs, education for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and other respiratory conditions

(Credited to Australian Physiotherapy Association)