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Briony Gildenhuys graduated in physiotherapy from the University of Teesside in Middlesbrough in the UK in 2002. She worked in the UK for a few years before relocating to South Africa. She has worked in a variety of settings throughout her career both public and private institutions and currently works in private in and outpatient neurorehabilitation in Johannesburg.
Briony was first introduced to the world of pelvic physiotherapy while working in the NHS in the UK in the early 2000s. Having seen the huge and wonderful impact it can have not just on the symptoms but on the quality of life of the people affected, it became part of her passion for physiotherapy for the rest of her career.
Briony continued to take her interest in pelvic health to Baragwanath hospital in Soweto where she worked for seven years. She set up the women’s health/pelvic dysfunction service here treating females and males for varied dysfunctions of the pelvis including incontinence, sexual dysfunction, colorectal dysfunction and pain. She worked closely with the different medical teams at the hospital including gynaecology, urology, colorectal, general surgery and maternity. She also set up provincial training for physiotherapists and physio assistants and technicians to help to improve the service which could be offered to patients in the government sector.
She organised the resumption of the Gauteng branch of the then Women’s Health Physiotherapy Group of the South African Society of Physiotherapy in 2015 and was an active member of the special interest group for many years as well as attending many of their courses and workshops.
She was a counsellor at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group which equipped her with essential skills to assist with the psychological impact that many pelvic dysfunction patients experience. Chronic pain is a special interest of hers and as well as being part of the teaching team of the Train Pain Academy, for many years she was the chair at provincial and national level of the Pain Management Physiotherapy Group of the South African Society of Physiotherapy helping to develop the agenda of pain management, treatment and education for therapists, patients and the general public.
She now works in neuro rehab where she combines her three loves of neuro rehab, pain management and pelvic dysfunction and is focussing on improving awareness of the role of physio to assist pelvic dysfunction in the neurologically affected population through education of patients, carers and colleagues.