Physiotherapy & Spinal Unit

Our Team      Photogallery

Specialized Center of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine

Physiotherapy & Spinal Unit

Brief characteristic of the department of rehabilitation and sports medicine

The Specialized Center of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine focuses on physical therapy for adults and children. We treat patients suffering from various diseases and conditions such as vertebrogenic disorders, neurological diseases, patients after surgeries, injuries of locomotive system, spine surgeries, as well as, patients with internal diseases.

Yearly, we hospitalize more than 630 patients and provide treatment for approximately 4.350 out-patients within our department. In other departments we rehabilitate roughly 13.500 patients.

Our physiotherapists work within 6 specialized centers in the University Hospital in Motol. Those centers are the Specialized Center of Cardiovascular Surgery, the Specialized Center of Neurology, the Specialized Center of Orthopedics, the Specialized Center of Pulmonology, the Spinal Cord Unit and of course the Specialized Center of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine.

How will your detailed schedule look like? What type of procedures, methods or treatment can you observe? Check what can you see by shadowing every member of the mentoring team.

 

Is this specialty placement ideal for you?

  • If you are interested in sports medicine and physical therapy methods, this specialty is the right choice for you. Each of your mentors would tell you that we put emphasis on the harmony between the body and the soul. You will witness the preparation of patients before surgery, the post-operative care as well as the therapy of adults and children suffering from injuries, internal, neurological and other diseases . The bond between the physiotherapist and the patient is a very strong one as we meet on regular basis and mutual trust is very important. You need to possess empathy, sensibility and patience, since the recovery from any disease or injury is a long way run, but when successful, the work is completely worth it.
  • This specialty is ideal for you, if you aspire to become a physical therapist, or doctor focused on spinal surgery. At this type of placement you will gain a valuable insight into all of these fields and understand better its complexity and consequencies of the injuries your future patients would deal with.

Let's take a closer look at the specialties…

Some of our physiotherapists are working in our Department of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine in the Physiotherapy Unit. Majority of our physiotherapists, however, works permanently in other specialized centers, because their assistance is indispensable. For that reason we closely cooperate with 6 specialized centers within the University Hospital in Motol. Among those specialized centers are the Spinal Cord Unit and the Specialized Center of Spinal Surgery.

The spinal cord physical therapy for patients who suffered from spinal cord injury is an extremely important part of treatment. Our aim is to prevent secondary complications, maximize physical functioning and reintegrate our patient into the community. All spinal cord injuries are very different and a unique plan has to be tailored for each patient. We focus on lower and upper extremity function and difficulties with mobility, as well as, the emotional and behavioral concerns of our patients.

Therapeutic devices and aids are key components of our therapy, among those are Lokomat, MOTOmed, functional electrical stimulation, standing frames, flexi-bars,  therapeutic suspension system, breathing simulators and many more.

Support tools are necessary part of the therapy, for that reason we use equipment such as crutches, axillary crutches, low and high walkers and other.

Who do we take care of?

Our team in the Spinal Cord Unit provides specific physical therapy for neurological patients with spinal lesions. We can divide our patients into two characteristic groups paraplegic and tetraplegic. Patients suffering from tetraplegia require longer and more comprehensive physiotherapeutic treatment, beginning with the respiratory physiotherapy. The entire process is much quicker with paraplegic patients is much quicker, because of the remaining movement in their upper limbs and sometimes even in torso. Every patient has to go through two one-hour therapeutic sessions every day.

In the Specialized Center of Spinal Surgery we treat patients who underwent spinal surgery, suffer from consequences of degenerative diseases and patients who experienced spinal injuries. On the other hand we are also taking care of patients who are trying to treat their problems conservatively, without surgical interventions.

Our methods and procedures

To provide the best possible treatment and therapeutic services at the Spinal cord Unit we use following methods and procedures:

  • Reflex locomotion method
  • Bobath concept
  • Proprioceptive neurological facilitation
  • Dynamic neuromuscular stabilization
  • Soft chest mobilization techniques

How does the usual schedule look like?

  • Our mentoring team works on a regular schedule without any fluctuations. Work here is therefore ideal for people who like fixed working hours. We focus on both inpatient and outpatient care, the minimum of 25 hours in the hospital is guaranteed.

If you are not sure whether this choice is suitable for you, don't hesitate to contact us. We will discuss your experience and motivation and come up with the best solution for you.

Our Team


Photo Jan Šibík

MUDr. Renata Háková

Spinal Unit Doctor

Doctor


The Spinal Unit is a very unique workplace which specializes in patients with severe motor disabilities, who often have very emotional life stories. Before the Spinal Unit existed, I worked in the Department of Neurology in University Hospital in Motol, and before that I worked in the Stroke Unit in the Hôpitaux Universitaires La Pitié salpetriere - Charles Foix in Paris. Taking care of people has always brought me a genuine sense of usefulness. I am hopeful that our team’s care, based on our professional attitude and human approach, makes our patients’ difficult life situations at least slightly easier.

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

I come from a family with a history in medicine and have wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. It is safe to say that I didn’t choose the profession, because it came to me naturally and without any questions. The hospital environment has felt very natural to me ever since I was a child. As a result of my altruistic traits, I have always enjoyed the idea of helping those who need it the most. At the same time, I have to admit that I appreciate the social respect that comes with being a doctor. I have a feeling of pride and fulfillment when I let someone know that I am a doctor.

Our unit is a very specific and specialized facility which treats a very niche group of patients after they have suffered spinal cord injuries. Despite our patients’ lives being radically impacted by their diagnoses, our job is meaningful and fulfilling. I had the pleasure of working in the Hôpitaux Universitaires La Pitié salpetriere - Charles Foix in Paris as well as in the Faculty Hospital in Dijon , and I completely understand the importance of international experience.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

Patients of the Spinal Unit are frequently very young people who, despite their severe injuries, have a long life ahead of them. Our pursuit of making their situation as easy as possible and allowing them to swiftly return to their previous lives makes their current situation slightly more bearable. Because of our efforts to minimize complications in the early stages, our patients can focus more on training and considering their work, school, and family prospects. People suffering from sensorimotor deficits or functional ability deficits improve drastically during their stay at the Spinal Unit. Despite the terrible situations that our patients find themselves in, they can see their progress, and it makes them joyful. Our entire team is also delighted to see improvements, and it gives us purpose and energy to pursue this career.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

If you are interested, you can see the entire day at the Spinal Unit with all the trimmings. You will be present for the standard work at the unit as well as all smaller surgeries that are performed on our spinal patients (e.g., changes of tracheostomy tubes, bronchoscopic aspirations, suprapubic cystostomies, training in bladder self-catheterization, and care for postoperative wounds and large defects). Pressure ulcers are one of the most serious and difficult-to-treat injuries, and I believe that its treatment and prevention will be one of the many important lessons that you will experience at our unit. Furthermore, you will get to know the patients themselves because personal contact with them and their family is an inseparable social aspect of the work of the Spinal Unit doctor.

Apart from being a healthcare professional…

I have always loved sports, above all skiing and tennis. I also enjoy improving my language skills in French and English.

My motto…

Never give up.

Photo Jan Šibík

Mgr. Tereza Hrdá

Spinal Unit Physiotherapist

Physiotherapist


I have been active in sports ever since I was little, and it has become a fundamental part of my life. As time went by, I slowly leaned towards specializing in physiotherapy. Working with the human body and the musculoskeletal system attracted me. It also suited me that studying for this specialty was narrowly specified from the first year in university. Physiotherapy is widely applicable, and this enables us to visit various international instruction courses organized by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) .

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

I have always been fascinated by everything related to the human body, health, and medicine in general. I always wanted to understand how the human body functions and what happens when it doesn’t operate correctly, and I wanted to personally help sick people. In the end I believe it was the desire to learn the about human body and how to heal it when necessary that made me interested in a healthcare profession. Furthermore, I knew that I wanted to work with a group of people, and a healthcare team is definitely the best place for me.

In our Spinal Unit, you will be able to see our work with patients with spinal lesions and neurologic disabilities of varying severity. You will become acquainted with the intensive rehabilitation schedules that they have to follow every single day. I will show you highly specialized physiotherapy that is focused on improving the mobility of our patients.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

It is currently my second year in the Spinal Unit, and I can honestly say that I am thoroughly happy here. Despite the fact that the job is difficult, both mentally and physically, I still love it for many reasons. I enjoy working with patients immediately after the formation of a neurological disability. Every patient spends between one and three months in our unit. It gives them enough time to achieve all of the goals that are set out for them. During this period of time, I have a very close working relationship with my patients and am there to see all of their progress, even the slightest improvements, which make me incredibly happy.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

While shadowing, you will be immersed in the issues of people suffering from spinal lesions. You will get to know patients with neurological deficits several weeks after the formation of a lesion and with many severe complications, such as movement disorders of the lower and upper limbs. The goal of our therapies is to alleviate the neurological conditions of the patients and increase their mobility. During each therapeutic session, we perform passive and active exercises, respiratory physiotherapy, and various techniques – usually based on neurologic methods and concepts. We work with the muscle groups of the torso as well as the upper and lower limbs. We train our patients to perform movements necessary to become more self-sufficient and independent. Furthermore, we show them how to use their body when they can only move part of it.

Apart from being a healthcare professional…

I definitely enjoy sports – I was a tennis instructor for 10 years. I also like skiing, running, fitness, and dancing. Additionally, I enjoy traveling and becoming acquainted with foreign countries, especially their culture and food. I love photography, which is closely tied to my love for travelling. I like going to the theater and cinema, and I adore reading. Being surrounded by my family and friends makes me utterly happy.

My motto…

Life is too short not to be lived to the fullest.

Photo Jan Šibík

Mgr. Barbora Nová

Spinal Unit Physiotherapist

Physiotherapist


Of all the healthcare professions, physiotherapy has always stood out for me because it uses movement to treat pain in the body as well as in the soul. Making interesting, fun and challenging therapy programs is necessary to achieve improvements without demotivating the patient. Bedridden patients who were dependent on the help of others are transformed into self-sufficient individuals, and they give me the energy for further work with their newly rediscovered self-confidence.

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

It was only logical that I decided to work as a healthcare professional because there is nothing more precious than one’s health. Physiotherapy is never monotonous, and it becomes even more interesting with every new patient. Specific methods can be applied to athletes and other patients in different stages of acute or chronic illness. The physiotherapist has to be able to connect objective examinations with the subjective problems of the patient, which can sometimes make them feel like a detective.

The experience in the Spinal Unit is very unique, not only because of how specific the diagnoses of spinal lesions are, but also because of the extremely close bonds between the patients and personnel. Despite the difficult fate of patients with serious health conditions, the atmosphere in our ward is relaxed, and this allows the patients to focus on their therapy and prepare for their future in a calm environment.

What do you love the most about your specialty?

Every single patient brings a new dimension to my work. We have to work not only with different bodies, but also with different characters. There is a lot of space for creativity, as you need to constantly search for connections between the patient’s problems and find the appropriate solutions. Spinal patients have specific clinical problems which create boundaries during therapy. When patients arrive, they are confined to bed, but over time they progressively become more and more self-sufficient to a certain degree. Despite personal traumas, patients are thoroughly thankful, kind and immensely hardworking. They all try to do their best, thus forcing us to do our best and further improve our therapeutic goals and horizons. It is not only us who motivate and teach them - they do the same thing for us every day.

What can a student see by shadowing your team?

The Spinal Unit provides specific rehabilitation for neurological patients with spinal lesions. Patients with tetraplegia usually need longer and more comprehensive physiotherapeutic treatment. The process begins with respiratory physiotherapy, which includes soft chest mobilization techniques, respiratory hygiene with expectoration training and breathing exercises using breathing simulators. We use various exercise equipment, such as exercise and medicine balls, Flexi-Bars, therapeutic bands and the Therapy Master suspension system. At the same time, we work on the movement quality of the patient’s other muscle groups. We base our therapy on physiotherapeutic methods with a neurophysiological basis. Most of the time, we work with the concept of dynamic neuromuscular stabilization, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, the Bobath concept, and the reflex locomotion method. The exercises aren’t only performed in a lying position – they are progressively changed to a forearm strengthening position, then to crawling on all fours or a high squat. With paraplegic patients, the entire process is quicker because of the remaining mobility in their upper limbs and, sometimes, their torso. With these patients, we try to reach a level of self-sufficiency, not only in bed, but even in transitions from the bed to the wheelchair and in riding the wheel chair as soon as possible. You will see the results of individual physiotherapeutic programs in some patients as we work with them in specific therapeutic sessions.

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

I love art in general because film, painting, music and dance are beautiful examples of perfect transformation of thought into reality. I also sincerely enjoy hiking, sports and good food that can be eaten with bare hands, especially hamburgers.

My motto…

It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t.

Photogallery

LOVE WHAT YOU DO WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT