World Physiotherapy Day 8 Sept, 2023 – Significance & Theme

World Physiotherapy Day 8 Sept, 2023 – Significance & Theme

World Physiotherapy Day (World PT Day) is a global healthcare event celebrated on the 8th of September every year since 1996, commemorating the date of the World Physiotherapy foundation in 1951.

This day serves as a homage to all the physiotherapists and the services they render, achieving the ultimate goal of a symptom-free movement at basic to complex physical activities in patients and the healthy alike. 

Significance of World Physiotherapy Day - World PT Day

Everyone values the ability to function as independently as possible during everyday life. Patients and fitness enthusiasts typically seek out physical therapy services for physical impairments associated with movement disorders caused by injury, disease, or health-related conditions that interfere with their ability to perform or pursue any number of activities that are necessary or important to them.

Of the many procedures employed by healthcare, therapeutic exercise takes its place as one of the key elements that lies at the center of programs designed to improve or restore an individual’s function or to prevent dysfunction.

The multidimensional aspects of physical function encompass the diverse yet interrelated areas of performance, such as 

  • Improving balance
  • Cardiopulmonary endurance 
  • Developing coordination
  • Progressing flexibility
  • Improving mobility
  • Muscle performance
  • Neuromuscular control
  • Postural control
  • Postural stability and
  • Equilibrium 

World Physiotherapy Day 2023 Theme

This year, 2023, the World Physiotherapy Day Theme is "Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis". Every year, the World Physiotherapy puts up a specific theme on debilitating health issues concerned with movement. Although this year's theme is a continuation of yesteryear's theme, the present year's theme focuses on inflammatory arthritis, including axial spondylarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


With informational toolkits combined with guidelines intended for the public, various physiotherapy-related health campaigns are organized each year with an aim to deliver awareness information across the world, appealing to local and global decision-makers for the providence of better facilities and support to tackle the same.


Year by year, the themes for World Physiotherapy Day (World PT Day) are:

  • World PT Day 2022 Theme: Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis
  • World PT Day 2021 Theme: Rehabilitation and Long COVID.
  • World PT Day 2020 Theme: Rehabilitation and Long COVID.
  • World PT Day 2019 Theme: Chronic pain and the role of the physiotherapist.
  • World PT Day 2018 Theme: Physical Therapy and Mental Health

History of World Physiotherapy Day - World PT Day

The 8th of September was declared as the World Physiotherapy Day in 1996 by the global organization, World Physiotherapy. Established on the 8th of September 1951 in the United Kingdom, World Physiotherapy is a non-profit organization currently representing more than 6,00,000 physiotherapists globally, encompassing 127 member organizations. 

This non-profit organization advocates safe working procedures for physiotherapists in promoting evidence-based physiotherapy practice for delivering affordable health care. 


There are various Nigerian physiotherapy associations and physiotherapists that have been represented in World Physiotherapy since 1967. 

Tweaking arthritis physiotherapy 

An acute or chronic joint inflammation, the arthritis can cause swelling, stiffness, pain, and redness in joints, contributing to its reduced function and dexterity. There are different types of arthritis affecting people of various physical fitness and ages –children, teenagers, athletes, etc.

Physiotherapists are among the healthcare professionals managing arthritis. After assessment, proper guidance and a tailored management plan for the movement and exercise can help in symptomatic control. Strategies might include:

  • Tailored exercise program 
  • Strength and stamina endurance 
  • Finding the balance between rest and activity
  • Identification of helpful lifestyle choices
  • Pain, swelling, and stiffness management skills 

Prevention of osteoarthritis 

One of the most common types of arthritis is osteoarthritis – a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage in the joints wears away, which causes the rubbing of bone against bone. It causes pain, stiffness, and trouble with movement. While it cannot be prevented entirely, a few factors can slow down osteoarthritis, such as: 

  • Maintenance of healthy body weight: Obesity can stress joints, hurting hips, knees, ankles, etc. 
  • Management of blood sugar: Diabetes is one of the risk factors for osteoarthritis. 
  • Being active: Exercise is a good way to keep joints from getting stiff and muscles strong. 
  • Avoiding joint injury: 5–10 minutes of gentle warm-up and stretches can help prevent injuries.
  • Practising Safety: Proper exercise equipment and protective gear are necessary to avoid injuries. 
  • Heeding pain: Do not neglect joint pains, which last 1-2 hours after activity. Joints need rest. 

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