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Physiotherapy day – with movement in the center

Published: 13 September 2022

September 8 was Physiotherapy Day and Luleå University of Technology celebrated by presenting its research and education. For an engaged audience at Vetenskapen hus, students and researchers told about the Bachelor Programme in Physiotherapy and about research projects.

The afternoon began with Lars Nyberg, Professor and Head of subject of Physiotherapy, giving an overall presentation of the subject. Physiotherapy is about movement, above all how we can and should move to relieve and prevent problems. But it is also about promoting our health throughout life and how we can collaborate with others to contribute to increased movement.

A broad education that offers many opportunities

Students Fabian Becktor Thun and Johanna Wallin, both from Skåne, continued by talking about the basic education. They have studied at the Bachelor Programme in Physiotherapi at Luleå University of Technology for a few years and think it is a broad and good education with many elements. They work with the whole person – the first years are mostly academic to learn the basics and then the students get to do internships in different places. Fabian said that he did internships in a lung department, a heart department, with a football team and at a health center. During the event, he showed how to do a typical knee examination and said "to be good, you have to examine a lot of patients".

– We feel good here in the north, it's a very including atmosphere, both at the University and in Luleå, said Johanna.

Both students also agreed that there are many places they can work in the future, everything from large hospitals, to care for the elderly, companies and gyms.

PEP – a life-saving invention

A physiotherapeutic invention, which the students told us about, is PEP (Positive Expiratory Pressure) which can be used to keep the lungs moving if a patient lies still for a very long time. It is used in healthcare by opening the lungs correctly during breathing exercises. In this way, mucus formation that causes problems is reduced, something that was previously treated with medication. They said that PEP is an intervention that can prolong life.

Many different research projects are ongoing

The doctoral students in physiotherapy, Hanna Forsberg and Eva Savolainen, took over and talked about exciting research projects that are ongoing at the university.

They themselves are involved in a project called Active school transports, which aims to encourage children and young people to use, for example, bicycles, skateboards or to walk all or part of the school route. Children need to exercise at least 60 minutes per day, but only 20 percent do so today. In the study, they have seen that there are many advantages to being active on the way to school. The children arrive fresher and happier, and their concentration and school results improve. The project is now being transferred to Norway.

Exciting possibilities with VR

Karin Forsberg, doctoral student in physiotherapy, spoke about the research that is ongoing at the movement lab: about falls and fear of falling, movement control among musicians and athletes as well as tests of balance and muscle strength in lung disease. Within the subject, there is also collaboration with researchers in robotics and AI.

Karin had also brought a pair of VR (virtual reality) glasses to be used as part of the treatment of long-term neck pain and whiplash in a project. The glasses then show how the patients moves their neck when they are wearing them. Karin's research project aims to test so that the glasses measure what the physiotherapist wants to measure. There are many advantages of VR glasses in this context. They act as a mini-lab that can be used wherever you are. They also provide the opportunity for remote rehab where therapist and patient can be in different places.

Read more about our education and research in Physiotherapy

Lars Nyberg

Lars Nyberg, Professor and Head of Subject

Phone: +46 (0)920 493926
Organisation: Physiotherapy, Health, Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Health, Education and Technology