Physiotherapists have different titles in different countries: in many countries they are called physical therapists. Some countries have their own version of the word physiotherapist, such as kinesiologist, but they are all part of the same profession.
Physiotherapists provide services that develop, maintain and restore people’s maximum movement and functional ability. They can help people at any stage of life, when movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors.
Physiotherapists help people maximise their quality of life, looking at physical, psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. They work in the health spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, and rehabilitation.
Physiotherapy can involve a number of different treatment and preventative approaches, depending on the specific problems you’re experiencing.
At your first appointment, you will have an assessment to help determine what help you might need.
Three of the main approaches a physiotherapist may use are:
education and advice
movement and exercise
Sometimes other techniques, such as acupuncture or ultrasound treatment, may also be tried.
Education and advice
https://vistaphysiotherapy.ca One of the main aspects of physiotherapy involves looking at the body as a whole, rather than focusing on the individual factors of an injury.
Therefore, giving general advice about ways to improve your wellbeing – for example, by taking regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight for your height and build – is an important part of treatment.
A physiotherapist can also give you specific advice that you can apply to everyday activities to look after yourself and reduce your risk of pain or injury.
For example, if you have back pain, you may be given advice about good posture, correct lifting or carrying techniques, and avoiding awkward twisting, over-stretching or prolonged standing.
Movement and exercise
Physiotherapists usually recommend movement and exercise to help improve your mobility and function. This may include:
exercises designed to improve movement and strength in a specific part of the body – these usually need to be repeated regularly for a set length of time
activities that involve moving your whole body, such as walking or swimming – these can help if you’re recovering from an operation or injury that affects your mobility
exercises carried out in warm, shallow water (hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy) – the water can help relax and support the muscles and joints, while providing resistance to help you gradually get stronger
advice and exercises to help you increase or maintain your physical activity – advice will be given on the importance of keeping active, and how to do this in a safe, effective way
providing mobility aids – such as crutches or a walking stick to help you move around
Your physiotherapist may also recommend exercises that you can continue doing to help you manage pain in the long term or reduce your risk of injuring yourself again.