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For parents/patients

What does the physiotherapist do and how will it help?

Whilst working closely with other members of the haemophilia team, the physiotherapist has an active role in minimising or preventing secondary complications of the musculoskeletal system. This system involves your joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves and allows you to move, walk and be active. Bleeding into joints and muscles can cause pain, loss of range of movement, muscle weakness and loss of functional skills.

The majority of children are seen as outpatients. A comprehensive musculoskeletal assessment is carried out to monitor joint health and function twice a year, usually when you attend clinic. The physiotherapist will look at joint range, muscle strength, co-ordination, balance, walking, running and hopping. These assessments ensure any problems with joints or muscles are identified early to minimise further bleeding episodes.

The physiotherapist will ensure the appropriate support and treatment is in place, which may involve a referral to a child's local team. Patients and families also receive ongoing advice, promotion of exercise and appropriate activity, along with a program of exercises if this is required and education on the recognition and management of an acute bleed.

What sort of things might physiotherapy involve?

To help manage an acute joint or muscle bleed, a physiotherapist may advise PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation), use splints, crutches, stretches or strengthening exercises. Some of these activities may be carried out in the physiotherapy department, or at home. These are carried out until the joint or muscle is back to its previous function.

Physiotherapy Contact

- Lucy Buckley - 0117 342 8525