Every year on September 8th, physical therapists (aka physiotherapists) around the world celebrate World Physiotherapy Day with a planned theme. This celebration started in 1996 with the date based on when the World Physiotherapy Association was founded in 1951. The association was established to unite the profession internationally. The Day serves as a reminder to take the time and recognize the positive benefits that physical therapists have on individuals and the management of their health and movement. The World Physiotherapy Association has created toolkits and materials to help promote physiotherapy around the world.
The focus for this year’s World PT Day is osteoarthritis, and in 2023 the focus will be on other
rheumatological conditions. The campaign is focused around the following key messages:
- Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint condition: 520 million people around the world have OA, and 60% of OA cases are for knee OA.
- In a global study of 291 conditions, hip and knee OA was ranked as the 11th highest contributor to disability.
- OA is a leading cause of disability. 9.6 million years were lived with disability from OA around the world in 2017.
- The exact cause of OA is unclear. Risk factors that increase the risk of OA include: having overweight or obesity, having a previous joint injury or joint surgery or history of joint overuse, genetics.
- Exercise is a first-line treatment for OA. A physiotherapist can provide advice and education about pain relief and ways to manage OA. They can teach people living with OA how to improve joint movement and strengthen muscles.
- It is important for people living with OA to keep as active as possible. This can help improve pain, reduce other symptoms of OA, and help people stay independent.
- Only about a third of people living with OA will get worse over time, and some see an improvement in pain and disability. A physiotherapist will be able to guide you on how to keep active.
**Information taken directly from the World PT Day Toolkit: https://world.physio/wptday/toolkit?lang=10&year=1035&toolkit_type=All
World Physiotherapy encourages member organizations and physiotherapists around the world to use World Physiotherapy’s toolkit to convey these messages to the public and policy makers. Remember to use the hashtag #worldptday if you are promoting on your social media site.
At OptimisPT, our owned and operated clinics will be participating by handing out Osteoarthritis information sheets and displaying World PT Day banners and signs. Our wellness programs will be offering special deals and incentives to promote National PT Day as well.
We hope you’ll join us in promoting World PT Day!