Physiotherapy Department

Physical therapy or physiotherapy is a health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairment and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, diagnosis and physical intervention.

The focus of the Physiotherapy Department of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital is to prevent impairment and restore functions in road traffic accident cases, domestic accidents, non-communicable diseases, fire disasters, work-related musculoskeletal and neurological disorders and congenital, physical impairments and developmental delays.


Presently, the Physiotherapy Department is stationed and carries out operations at several locations in the UPTH. This distributed operation is designed to align with the peculiarity of physiotherapy patients (physically challenged in movement and function).

The Physiotherapy Department UPTH, has the following units: Neurology/Medicine Physiotherapy, Care of the Elderly Unit and Neurology, Paediatric Physiotherapy, Paediatric Neurology Physiotherapy & Paediatric Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Women’s Health Physiotherapy: Antenatal & Postnatal Physiotherapy. Also, surgical conditions in Physiotherapy includes Burns & Plastic Physiotherapy, Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy and Pre/Post Surgical Physiotherapy subunits. Lastly, Orthopaedic Physiotherapy has Trauma & Spine Physiotherapy. There is also a custom Split Making Workshop for Orthotics.

For cases needing urgent medical or surgical interventions, the following are inclusion criteria for referrals: 

 Severe cardiovascular compromise

 Immediate ICU intervention

 Immediate life-saving medico-surgical procedure

 Cases needing specialized surgery

 Cases requiring devices like the customized orthotics

MOTOR NEURONE DISEASES: Cardiorespiratory; Cardiopulmonary diseases; Airflow Obstruction/Mucus Retention.
PAEDIATRICS: Birth defects; Club foot; Spinal Bifida; Down syndrome; Cleft Lips/Palate Developmental Delays (including cases due to malnutrition), and Cerebral Palsy.
OTHER NON COMMUNICABLE DISEASES: Diabetes (foot ulcers, pain and limb amputation), cardiovascular diseases (hypertension), peripheral vascular diseases etc.
OTHERS: Referral for specialized services; wound management; prosthesis and orthotics, corrective and reconstructive surgeries and specialized rehabilitation services.

ORTHOPAEDIC/SURGERY: Post-trauma/surgery joint stiffness; post-trauma/surgery joint pain swelling; post-trauma/surgery muscle weakness; burns; head trauma (stabilized); torticollis; idiopathic scoliosis/postural scoliosis; ankylosing spondylitis
SPONDYLOLISTHESIS(Isthmic type and Post-surgical): spondylitis; retrolisthesis; osteoarthritis; rheumatoid arthritis; septic arthritis; osteomyelitis; ligaments and tendon disorders; TB spine after medical or Surgical management etc.
NEUROLOGICAL:Multiple sclerosis; paralysis due to poliomyelitis; postpoliomyelitis syndrome; neurological conditions due to meningitis, Parkinson’s disease, Muscular Dystrophy; transverse myelitis; multiple sclerosis.

WOMEN’S HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPY: Indications during pregnancy includes: Pedal edema; leg cramps; pelvic organ prolapse; body aches and pains; carpal tunnel syndrome; recti abdominal diastasis; pubic symphysis dysfunction; hemiplegia; hemiparesis; facial nerve palsy; sacroiliac joint dysfunction; tailbone pain.

The Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation handles the inpatient (wards-patients) as well as the outpatient departments for all physiotherapy-related conditions. This department has eighteen (18) Physiotherapists providing super-specialized therapy to patients in UPTH. These Physiotherapists are deployed to each of the wards (In-patients & Out-patients) covered by all physiotherapy units.

For more details on the scope of work see UPTH Service Charter.
For Protocol of service; see UPTH Service Charter.