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World Physical Therapists Day-September 8, 2014

| September 4, 2014 | Reply

WPTD_advert_250x250World Physical Therapists Day falls on September 8th, 2014.  It is an excellent opportunity for Physical Therapists in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, and from all over the world to raise awareness about the valuable contribution their profession makes to keeping people pain-free, mobile and independent.  This year the theme is “Fit to take Part”, emphasizing Physical Therapists’ contribution in helping people with disabilities and/or long-term illnesses become independent and maximize their potential. 

At Capilano Rehab Centre, our very own physiotherapist, Danny Wills, PT has had extensive experience working with disabled individuals, both in clinical and various sports team settings.  He has worked with paraplegic sledge hockey and wheelchair basketball at the local and provincial level and has treated Paralympic athletes at Capilano Rehab Centre.   So I sat down with Danny to find out a little bit about his perspective on how the role of a physical therapist can benefit an individual with physical disabilities.

Q. What experience do you have working with individuals with a disability?

A. I have been working with athletes with disabilities since 1998, specifically athletes who play sledge hockey, wheelchair basketball and hand cycle.   I have spent time working with athletes at all levels of the sport from locals who just want to play, Provincial Team, National Team, and Paralympic sledge hockey and wheelchair basketball athletes.   My wife is a T12 paraplegic and some of my closest friends are disabled, so I have firsthand experience in a clinical, team and home setting.   

Q. Describe your role as a Physical Therapist in helping people with long-term illnesses or disabilities become independent and fulfil their potential?

A. In addition to pain, one of the biggest issues for Physical Therapists treating people with disabilities is mobility.  If I were to injure my shoulder playing basketball I am still able to easily get around, my only limitation is I may not be able to reach, lift or carry with that arm until I have completed treatment.  For a person who uses a wheelchair, a shoulder, elbow or wrist injury can lead to significant functional difficulties.   In many cases they have now lost the ability to perform transfers in and out of bed, get in and out of a vehicle, or on and off of the toilet.  Their entire activities of daily living can be grossly affected by a strain or sprain.  As a Physical Therapist, you are able to restore independence by treating these acute injuries, and in some cases prevent chronic strain issues before they happen. 

Q. With regards to athletes with a disability, how have you seen their lives effected by the intervention of a Physical Therapist?

A.  Individuals that actively use a wheelchair can often suffer repetitive strain injuries due to the repetitive motions that being in a wheelchair require.  While for the non-athlete the wheelchair operation stress and strain that is put on the wrists, elbows and shoulders is high.  It’s even higher for a wheelchair-athlete due to the force that they are performing these motions with.   There is no such thing as resting their shoulder injury!  Therefore, wheelchair-athletes not only require active treatment, they also require a preventative program as well.  For individuals that are not athletes it is still extremely important to heal existing injuries and prevent future ones because it can mean a lack of mobility for that person.

Q.  How has your experience working with individuals with a disability benefited your life?Sledge hockey

A.  My personal life has been enriched greatly after getting involved with disabled sports back in 1998.  Many of my closest friends are athletes with disabilities that I have met through my involvement. I met my lovely wife while I was helping out with Team Alberta, and now we have a beautiful baby daughter, so I would say the impact has been tremendous!  I have had great experiences traveling with the teams, and I even started to play wheelchair basketball and now play sledge hockey.  I find it has been a great way to get out with my friends and get some exercise. Recently, I also bought a hand cycle and I can now spend time hand-biking with my wife.

If you are a paraplegic and are suffering from a sprain or strain injury call Danny at 780-466-1104 to come see him at Capilano Rehab Centre so he can help get you back to the activities you love!  His extensive experience and firsthand knowledge can help you regain mobility.



Capilano Rehab Centre | Physical Therapy Capilano physical therapists have provided state-of-the-art physical therapy, sports physiotherapy, back pain, WCB, accident, whiplash and injury rehab to clients in Edmonton for over 10 years.

5832 Terrace Rd Edmonton, AB. T6A 3Y8

(780) 466-1104



Category: Active Living, Clinic News, Community, Healthy Living, Physiotherapy, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

I am Capilano Rehab Centre’s Community Care Coordinator. I have been with Capilano Rehab for 9 years primarily as a Physio Assistant, but also as a Receptionist. I have a Physical Education Degree from the University of Alberta, which I will eventually use when my two young children are grown up. In the mean time I am enjoying helping people in the Community through my role as Community Care Coordinator and bringing awareness to how a Physiotherapist can help you get back to the activities you love the most!

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