Paul missed out on 20 years of physio services
Written by Aaron Dennis, July 17, 2023
Although Paul received physiotherapy as a child for his severe haemophilia, he did not access adult physio services until he was 37.
Like many people, Paul missed out on this core service because he was treated at a small haemophilia centre and only discovered that he should have had access to physio when he moved to a Comprehensive Care Centre (CCC).
Now 57, Paul has benefitted from 20 years of specialist physiotherapy, but has damaged elbow, knee and ankle joints. He expects to have both knees replaced within two years.
Paul said: ‘As a younger man I didn’t appreciate how important the physio aspect of haemophilia care was. When I started to be treated at a CCC I realised I’d been missing out. If I’d had earlier physio intervention or advice it would probably have been better for my overall care.’
Paul has always enjoyed an active lifestyle and regularly attends a gym and swims. He has six-monthly physio reviews and has found that Pulsed Shortwave Therapy (known as Megapulse) provided by his physiotherapy unit particularly effective for joint and muscle bleeds.
‘I didn’t appreciate how important the physio aspect of haemophilia care was.’
He said: ‘I’ve always been active, which has helped me, but my joints are a mess to say the least! Over the years I’ve learnt to listen to my body a bit more and where I might have pressed on through a bleed, now I rest when I need to. Having a physiotherapist to advise me about specific exercises and advice has been really helpful.’
Paul, who is also a trustee of the Haemophilia Society (THS), is speaking as part of our Fit for the Future Summer Appeal which is raising money to help us continue to provide information and support for people about physiotherapy. We also campaign to ensure all Comprehensive Care Centres provide specialist physiotherapy services and use our platform to raise awareness that everyone with a bleeding disorder is entitled to this service.
Paul encourages everyone to use their physiotherapist, if they have access to one, even if they feel in good shape. He said: ‘Physiotherapy is like insurance. You don’t know how beneficial it is going to be until you need it.’