Physiotherapy New Zealand marked the day by raising public awareness of the range of conditions which physical therapists treat. At the same time, the organisation tried to raise members’ awareness of their role as primary health professionals in meeting changing population health needs.
For World PT Day, campaigning focused particularly on arthritis. Physiotherapy New Zealand developed a pack of resources to raise local awareness of the condition, which was sent to all their branches, special interest groups, members with private clinics, and managers in public hospitals.
The message of the campaign was that people who use physiotherapy as part of their arthritis treatment are stronger, fitter, more flexible – and in less pain. “Research shows that exercise and stretching are vital for people with arthritis,” said PNZ President Gill Stotter. “So while it’s true that modern arthritis drugs can provide significant relief for some people, keeping moving is crucial.”
Arthritis affects half a million New Zealanders – and half of these are of working age. The total cost of arthritis in New Zealand was estimated last year at NZ$3.2 billion, or 1.7% of GDP.