Physiotherapy

or Physical Therapy, or PT

Prevalence of pain in the head, back and feet in refugees previously exposed to torture: A ten-year follow-up study

This article looks at the change over 10 years concerning pain in the head, back, and feet among previously tortured refugees now residing in Denmark, and to compare associations between methods of torture and pain at baseline and after 10 years. Pain in the head, back, and feet were chosen because they are frequently reported symptoms. Conclusions were that: Pain increased, despite treatment at RCT; Treatment does not decrease risk of continuing or increasing symptoms of pain; 20 years after torture took place, increasing proportions of survivors seems to suffer from pain associated with the type and bodily focus of the torture. This presents a considerable challenge to future evidence based development of effective treatment programs.

Tortured Refugees' Expectations of a Multidisciplinary Pain Rehabilitation Programme

Refugees have often been exposed to torture in their countries of origin. Rehabilitation of tortured refugees living in Denmark is offered by the specialized Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims in Copenhagen. After an interdisciplinary assessment eligible patients are recommended rehabilitation. In this article, it is noted that there is diversity among refugees in their expectations from pain programs and that the clients expect to have dialogue with the members of their health care team about participation in recommended activities, and to question and not just to accept professional suggestions.

Chronic Pain and PTSD: The Perpetual Avoidance Model and its Treatment Implications

This article examines the interplay between chronic pain and PTSD and treatment implications. Various risk factors, models and treatment recommendations are explored. The authors conclude that the treatment for traumatized patients suffering from PTSD and chronic pain should include a biopsychosocial approach, combining education about the maladaptive behaviors leading to disability, as well as exposure therapy, relaxation, biofeedback, and therapeutic exercise.

Increasing Activity and Improving Function in Chronic Pain Management

Chronic pain is a condition of complexity that requires a multi-dimensional approach. Unfortunately, not many patients who suffer from chronic pain are able to use a clinic or program that addresses chronic pain management due to their location or finances. The goal of this article is to give an overview of approaches that may be helpful to physiotherapists in their own practice relating to chronic pain.

Physiotherapy: Body-Centred Approach to Working with Victims of Torture and Trauma

By Veena O’Sullivan (Physiotherapist)* - BAppSc (Phty), MAppSc (Phty), Grad Dip (Counselling) Physical pain is rarely an isolated sensation, and is almost always accompanied by emotion and meaning. Traumatised clients tend to dissociate traumatic memory from feelings, as well as accompanying physiological sensations. Thus the emotional trauma gets trapped in the body, often somatised in the form of chronic physical pain. Clients are not necessarily able to identify that this is so, as the process is usually unconscious. In our physiotherapy sessions I guide clients to gain some insights as to how the body sensations, the feelings and images from traumatic experiences are inter-related. In doing so, clients gain a clearer awareness of the body-mind connections, and thereby are able to better understand how to prevent and/or release pain. ___ *Veena O’Sullivan has been a registered physiotherapist since 1981. She is a Sydney University graduate, with both undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications in physiotherapy (Bachelor and Master Degrees). She also has a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. She has worked both in Australia and overseas, with wide experience in clinical and academic settings. Currently, she works both in private physiotherapy practice and at STARTTS**. **STARTTS- Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors, Sydney Australia.

Restoring Hope and Childhoods

Ahmad*, an 11-year-old Syrian boy, was having a hard time managing his anger. In Syria, he had survived a grenade attack when he was mistaken for a soldier. His family sought safety in Amman, Jordan, but life was still not peaceful. Ahmad had violent outbursts. He was aggressive and hit his siblings. He had internalized the violence from his experiences in Syria into his own young body. Increasingly, our staff in Jordan is seeing children and young people like Ahmad who need mental health and physical therapycare to cope with their traumatic experiences. Now, more than a third of our clients in Jordan are under the age of 18. Syrian adults report that the well-being and potential of their children constitute their greatest source of stress. Parents worry constantly about what their children have seen and experienced.

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