Posttraumatic Stress Disorder management: A role for physiotherapists and physical training instructors
Date of this Version
Posttraumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder known to affect some military personnel. Apart from impacting on mental health, this disorder is associated with a number of co-morbidities including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and chronic pain. Physiotherapy and physical training instruction are two health services provided by defence that may be of benefit to personnel undergoing psychological treatment for this condition. Research evidence is presented to inform potential fields of treatment that may be facilitated by these two health professions. The benefits of exercise in treating posttraumatic stress disorder and associated co-morbidities are presented and the evidence discussed. Physiotherapy specific treatments to address specific medical conditions requiring specialised interventions (chronic pain for example) are also considered. Discussed strategies include; a) the education and training of physiotherapy and physical training instructor staff in identification of behavioural features associated with PTSD, referral options and considered best practice interventions within their scopes of practice, and b) the inclusion of these health professional services in the treatment plans for military staff suffering from this condition.
This document has been peer reviewed.