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Stroke, Geriatric, Neurological Physiotherapist- Joanna Schechter

For the month of June, we get to know Joanna Schechter, registered physiotherapist at ALPHA Health Services. Joanna specializes in geriatric physiotherapy. Joanna has considerable experience in the fields of stroke rehabilitation, joint replacement pre and post surgery, deconditioned patients and physiotherapy for seniors. She has many years of experience including experience working in patient units in major Toronto hospitals. Her practice at ALPHA Health Services focuses on senior care, stroke and cardiac rehabilitation, joint replacement rehab, and increasing functionality and strength for the geriatric population. We sat down with Joanna and asked her the following questions…

Why did you become a Physiotherapist?

I graduated from physiotherapy in May 2003

What did you learn while going through school about physiotherapy, that you didn’t know before?

I didn’t realize how vast the scope of physiotherapy was. I never knew what a central role physiotherapists played in lung conditions and recovery post stroke, spinal cord injury. The role physios play in the hospital and how central it is to getting ill and post surgical patients out of bed and mobilizing so quickly to prevent bed sores and pneumonias and other hospital related illness that come with lying in bed. How physiotherapists play a huge role in helping imrpove the mood of those with depression and anxiety and other mental health issues through appropriate and supervised exercise.

What are some of the techniques you use on patients?

I use a lot of NDT (neuro developmental treatment) techniques on both neurological and musculoskeletal clients – facilitation to place them in them in the closest alignment to neutral so that they are using the right muscles at the right times during functional activities (sit to stand, lying to sitting, sitting to lying, rolling, walking, sitting, reaching, stepping up).

What are some conditions you like to treat with physio therapy?

I love to treat clients post stroke, and post hip and knee replacement. I also really enjoy working with the frail elderly on general exercise to improve their current functional mobility, help decrease chronic pain, improve mood and prevent deterioration in function.