What Does a Physiotherapist Do?

If you have a physical injury or chronic medical condition, a physiotherapist can help improve your movement and reduce pain and disability. This regulated healthcare profession, sometimes called PTs or physios, takes a holistic approach that involves patients directly in their own care. They work with the patient to maintain health and reduce the risk of future injury or illness, using movement, exercise, manual therapy and education.

A physiotherapist’s primary job is to assess, diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions affecting the body’s musculoskeletal system. This includes muscles, bones and joints. Physios also deal with chronic medical conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Physios assess the status of a patient, then develop and implement a treatment plan. They may use manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, heat and cold therapy, TENS, electrical stimulation, dry needling or acupuncture to ease pain.

They can also advise on pain management, provide aids and equipment and educate patients to prevent injury and manage ongoing medical issues. Physios can also be involved in the care of patients as part of multidisciplinary teams that include doctors and nurses.

Some physiotherapists specialize in particular areas of the body, such as geriatrics, orthopedics and sports medicine. Others may focus on specific types of injuries or illnesses, such as concussion or cancer-related pain. They can be found working in hospitals, private clinics, community health centres and rehabilitation centers.

A doctor or medical professional must prescribe a course of physiotherapy treatments before you can attend sessions at a physical therapy practice. You can have as many sessions as your prescription calls for, but you cannot exceed 28 days between appointments unless there is a good reason for the break.

The number of sessions you need will depend on the diagnosis and the severity of your injury. Your physiotherapist will advise you on the number of sessions you need at your initial assessment and throughout treatment.

Some insurance plans will cover the cost of physiotherapy treatments. Check with your employer or health insurer to find out more about coverage and how to claim for physiotherapy services.

Physiotherapists physiotherapist-dandy.com are highly specialized in their field of expertise, and they undergo years of graduate education and practical experience before they become licensed practitioners. They are also required to take regular continuing education courses to keep their skills up to date.

During the early days of physiotherapy, some practitioners used techniques such as ultrasound and electric muscle stimulation to treat pain. These fad therapies lost favor as scientists learned that they didn’t accelerate healing and could be dangerous to patients. Today, most physios have moved away from these “voodoo” treatments and focus on techniques that are proven to speed healing. Still, some practitioners have a reputation for pseudoscience, so it’s important to choose a qualified practitioner who will listen to you and respect your opinions. Choosing an empathetic and honest practitioner can make all the difference in your recovery.