For years, physiotherapists have been helping people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. Thanks to them we can deal better with injuries and the overall condition of our health. In an interview with Mr. Robert Wrona, a physiotherapy technician specializing in functional rehabilitation, we talk about the secrets of the physiotherapist profession and tools how to maintain a good condition of our own body.

Leaders: Could you please tell us more about yourself? Where are you currently working? How did you get started as a physical therapist?

Robert Wrona: I represent the three-person team of Dr Gryglicki & Crow – Functional Rehabilitation London – Krakow. We have many years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation. Above all, sports-related injuries, as you know, are the most difficult to heal. The artistic and sports circles of patients requiring medical and physiotherapeutic assistance are concentrated in our office in Krakow.

I am a manual and sports therapist in the office of Dr. Gryglicki & Crow Functional Rehabilitation London – Krakow. I have been participated in many courses and trainings in the field of physiotherapy and sports medicine. Daily, I run a branch of the London office which is visited by many different artists of the polish music scene as well as athletes.

My partner in the office is PhD in medical sciences Krzysztof Gryglicki, a specialist in medical rehabilitation and sports medicine, physiotherapist. For over 20 years he has been dealing with the problems of the musculoskeletal system and muscle dysfunctions caused by sports injuries. Since 2004, he has been cooperating with the Bayern Sport Clinic, in 2015 – 2019 a doctor of the Polish Muaithai Association, since 2020 a doctor in the Polish Paralympic Committee.

In addition, I have the pleasure of working with a medical trainer, Ewelina Marcisz. She was an Olympian, a member of the women’s national team in cross-country skiing, a multiple Polish champion and a World Cup multi-player. She fulfills herself as an assistant coach in the Polish Paralympic Committee and in the Polish Association of the Disabled “Start”.

We are highly explained team of specialists, whose passion is to work at the highest possible level with various types of pain ailments of outpatients.

Leaders: What should the first visit with a physiotherapist look like?

Robert Wrona: The first visit in our office is primarily diagnostics, functional examination and determining the course of further therapy. Each patient requires an individual course of therapeutic management to achieve the best possible results which will lead to a quick recovery.

Leaders: We know you have many passions. Why is physiotherapy a profession that you want to devote yourself?

Robert Wrona: Physiotherapy is a lifestyle for us. The slogan of our office is “Life is a movement”. There is nothing more valuable than the opportunity to see relief and smile on our patient’s face. From an early age, our willingness for helping others – was growing in us. It started in the elementary school. We worked in the structure of the Polish Red Cross, where we took care of the elderly. Later, we were involved in scouting and the Oaza association. This is how our passion for caring and helping others began. Sport education and a passion for hard work and perseverance, which Ewelina instills in our pupils, is also of great importance.

Leaders: What methods do you most often use at work? Do you have your favorites that suit you particularly?

Robert Wrona: Present times provide many tools for physiotherapeutic work. One of our favorites is visceral therapy which involves the manual preparation of soft tissues and internal organs within the abdominal cavity of the chest. We see the effectiveness of this method on our patients, which allows us to extend the workshop with new techniques of osteopathic work. In our practice, we use physical therapy, which supports manual work. For these purposes, we use the highest quality equipment from renowned brands, including BTL, such as SIS Therapy – Super Induction Stimulation, High-energy laser, lymphatic drainage, ultrasounds, electrotherapy, Hivamat deep oscillation, local cryotherapy, or magnetic field. Our latest addition is a hyperbaric chamber, the use of which helps in many diseases, acting at the cellular level.

Leaders: What do you use with your exhausted customers to get them fully functional as soon as possible?

Robert Wrona: Responding to the need for the fastest possible recovery of our patients, I especially recommend a treatment in a hyperbaric chamber which helps to regenerate their body in a comprehensive manner. In addition, it is worth to use “touch work”, i.e. a commonly used therapeutic massage that we adjust to the patient’s needs at the level of adequate relaxation, releasing muscle tension.

Leaders: For the average reader, physical therapy is mainly a massage. What are the latest trends in physiotherapy? The media shows us a lot of photos with oppressed athletes.

Robert Wrona: Physiotherapy as a field of medical science, contrary to myths, is not only massage, but also a work with many specialized techniques and tools. One of the most famous methods in the world media is the so-called kinesio taping. The advantage of this method is the possibility of correcting muscles and joints as well as the cosmetic effect improving the lifting of skin tissue and scars. This effective method has been recognized by patients all over the world.

Leaders: We hear more and more about maintaining the correct posture and ergonomics at work. How does the work and its type influence our health?

Robert Wrona: Work ergonomics affects not only the quality, but also efficiency. Maintaining an incorrect posture of the body causes numerous disadvantages, and thus pain ailments originating from the locomotor system of our body. In our offices, we try to educate and show the right directions to obtain the most effective posture at work. Defects caused by improper sitting or the wrong position of the screen are often so serious that they require the use of appropriate manual work techniques and corrective exercises in the office under the supervision of a physiotherapist.

Leaders: Did you notice the changes about how the way of our work affects our health? What if we will compare nowadays conditions to the generation of our grandparents? Do you think the conditions are more favorable to our health or not?

Robert Wrona: Undoubtedly, the current development of civilization has helped us a lot with technological development of our work’s effectiveness. Unfortunately, it also contributed to the emergence of many overload and psychophysical diseases that have a very large impact on the poor quality of our functioning. Multigenerational changes brought good and bad conditions to the way of our life and health factors. We must remember that very often our grandparent’s generation worked physically without technological facilitations, but they had an adequate dose of rest without excessive stress resulting from, for example, the fast rhythm of life.

Leaders: What should we consider when we are choosing the right shoes to protect the spine from excessive strain?

Robert Wrona: When we’re choosing the right footwear, we should bear in mind the purpose of its use. An important thing is the versatility of the footwear, its sole, and the profiling of the insole. The spine as a scaffolding of our body needs solid support in the quality of our footwear.

Leaders: What should prophylaxis at work look like in order to properly care for our well- being and health?

Robert Wrona: Hygiene at work, because this is how we should refer to this term of prophylaxis, is quite simple, but often pushed to the background. It can be said that we forget about choosing the right chair, desk height, breaks at work – which are the perfect moment to perform a few exercises to stretch our muscles that quickly stiffen in one position for a long time, causing fatigue.

Leaders: How would you rate the level of physiotherapy in Poland compared to other European countries?

Robert Wrona: Due to the specialist education of physiotherapists, the level of physiotherapy in Poland is one of the highest. For 5 years in Poland, the profession of physiotherapist has been legally regulated along with the right to practice the profession, which is regulated by the KIF, which is the superior and supportive body of physiotherapists. The educational opportunity through training and courses allows you to acquire knowledge

at a very demanding level by inviting world-famous trainers. Thanks to this, our patients can feel safe and fully comfortable recover.

Leaders: Are there harmful exercises that we should avoid?

Robert Wrona: Are exercise harmful? No, there are no harmful exercises. They are only ill- suited to a given activity, type of sport or ailments which may be additionally exacerbated by excessive exercise load. Therefore, in our offices, the support of a medical trainer is not only an educational factor, but also a practical factor by arranging and selecting an appropriate training plan.

Leaders: More and more people are running, cycling, swimming or going to the gym. This translates into a greater interest in prevention and your services? Is public awareness growing? Do you meet with cases that someone comes and simply asks for help in arranging a warm-up plan?

Robert Wrona: We are pleased with the growing awareness for exercises, whether at the amateur or professional level. The present times require us to engage in various forms of activity. The alternatives like running, cycling or swimming, gives us the opportunity to improve our condition and extend the good quality of our life. There are so-called outbursts of our activity, e.g. when suddenly we decide to run without prior preparation or appropriate warm-up. This is when injuries most often occur. An important element is the proper preparation and arrangement of a plan with an experienced medical or personal trainer to avoid accidents.

Leaders: What are your dreams related to physiotherapy? What would you like to achieve?

Robert Wrona: Our biggest dream and goal is to create a professional facility where, following the example of our practices, the next generations of young physiotherapists and osteopaths would be able to learn how to help others who are in need – with the same passion we work today.