We orthotists are a fairly independent bunch – we often work solo in our clinics and being such a rare breed, we sometimes don’t meet up with other orthotists for quite some time. It means that we have to do plenty of learning and research online to maintain our knowledge and keep up with new developments.
However, there is no substitute for face-to-face learning, and being in such a specialised field, I have to travel to get the ongoing updates that I need. I have been to The Netherlands many times, and in a small, pretty town called Zwolle, about 2 hours from Amsterdam, is the amazing Scoliosis Care Clinic -, owned by Marjan de Jonge and and our own Dino Gallo from Ortholutions (where RSC braces are manufactured) does a bracing clinic there every month. I have been several times for training and professional development, and these sessions are incredibly useful as Dino has a staggering wealth of knowledge which he is only too happy to share. We have a great working relationship and our clinical sessions continue into the evenings over a beer or 2!
An area which I have yet to expand in the UK is the treatment of older people with scoliosis: at the Scoliosis Care Clinic, they routinely treat adults well into their 70’s – the aim is to help patients manage pain rather than aim for correction, although any improvement in the curve is a bonus. I’m going to talk a lot more about this in another blog.
The Scoliosis Care Clinic is a Centre of Excellence, and is an accredited centre for teaching the highly specialised Schroth Therapy – there are various ‘sub groups’ or derivations for this therapy, and at SCC they teach the method devised by Elena Salva and developed further by Dr Manuel Rigo at the BSPTS which is a renowned World Centre for the treatment of scoliosis. The two clinics work in close partnership and are responsible for a number of important research projects. I feel very privileged to have such a close connection with such an institution.
Here’s the team in Zwolle – they are a really lovely group of therapists and admin staff and it’s always a pleasure to visit them
I’m off again to Zwolle in the New Year for an update session, and I’ll do a post on my return
If you’re a Physiotherapist reading this blog, I would be really interested in talking to you as the number of Schroth-trained therapists in the UK is tiny, and often my clients have to travel a long way to get the expert input needed. Feel free to contact me via my website: www.cymortho.co.uk/contact