The Burn Physiotherapist plays a vital role throughout the recovery from burn injury and the emphasis will change throughout the rehabilitation process. You may see a Physiotherapist at any point of your burns treatment. This may be while you are in hospital, or as part of an outpatient service. The role of the Physiotherapist may vary according to your own specific requirement. The Physiotherapist is a movement expert and will assess your movement, strength, pain and function as needed. They will assess your burns and scars. The Physiotherapist will provide advice, information, treatments, scar management and exercises.
Physical, functional and psychosocial rehabilitation should be commenced immediately post injury to achieve the best outcome. However, Physiotherapy may also be helpful later in the recovery process. Usually, Physiotherapy has the greatest benefit in the first two years post burn injury. However, for some individuals, in particular those who have sustained major burns or who have complex additional needs, the entire rehabilitation process may last for many years.
What does a Physiotherapist do after a Burn Injury
6th July 2017
The Physiotherapist will tailor the treatment to the specific requirements of the individual. They will carry out an initial assessment to identify the current needs of the patient. They will also take a clinical and social history to gain an understanding of any pre-existing medical or movement problems. Using the results of the assessments the Physiotherapist will agree with the patient a treatment plan and agree what the goals of the treatment are.
There is a very wide range of different treatments the burn Physiotherapist may use. For some people who are in hospital after a burn injury, Physiotherapy may be focused on respiratory physiotherapy treatments or learning to regain basic functions such as walking or using the hands. For smaller injuries or later in the rehabilitation process common treatments are massage, joint mobilisation, stretches, exercises and scar management.
To receive specialist Physiotherapy at a NHS Burn Service you will usually need to be under the care of a NHS Burn Consultant. The amount of Physiotherapy you receive will depend on the individual needs of the patient. Sometimes patients receive Physiotherapy from a service closer to where they live, either instead of or in addition to specialist burn service Physiotherapy. Most burn services are able to see patients for as long as is needed for any number of appointments. NHS Physiotherapy has access to rehabilitation facilities such as hospital gyms and workshops.
If you would prefer to receive treatment through a private practitioner, you can use the following link to locate one in your area. We cannot guarantee the services being offered and it is your responsibility to ensure the services meet your requirements: Find a physio – The Chartered Institute of Physiotherapy
To check if a physio is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, click below: HCPC Register check
The London Scar Clinic has a Clinical Scar Specialist Physiotherapist with over 15 years experience working with burns in the NHS and private sector. When booking a private physiotherapist, it is your responsibility to ensure the services offered meet your requirements. Ruthann Fanstone London Scar Clinic