What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists focus on removing or reducing physical pain and restoring movement without the use of drugs. The Australian Physiotherapy Association defines physiotherapy as a therapeutic health profession concerned with enhancing mobility and quality of life by using clinical reasoning to deliver the most suitable treatment for an injury or condition. Physiotherapists help people gain as much movement and physical independence as possible so they can resume their normal job or lifestyle. Physiotherapists assess, diagnose and treat people with movement problems. They also deliver patient education and help people avoid injuries and maintain a fit, healthy body.

Physiotherapy is provided to a wide variety of people for a wide variety of reasons. People most in need of physiotherapy are the elderly, who may be suffering from conditions such as arthritis, people who have an injury which has resulted in restricted physical movement, and people suffering from certain health problems such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and headaches. Physiotherapists can also provide information on how to prevent injuries.

Who Can Benefit From Physiotherapy?

People who may require physiotherapy include those who are:

  • elderly
  • ill
  • injured
  • sports people
  • recovering from surgery
  • recovering from child birth

Those who can benefit the most from physiotherapy treatment include those suffering from:

  • muscular pain (such as neck and back pain)
  • joint pain
  • spinal conditions
  • muscular control problems
  • headaches
  • stress
  • sports injuries

Conditions Treated with Physiotherapy

Physical therapy can be used on its own to treat certain conditions but it is often used to complement other treatments. Diseases or conditions which may benefit from physiotherapy include:

  • arthritis
  • cerebral palsy
  • spina bifida
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • stroke
  • heart conditions
  • lung conditions
  • neurological conditions

What Does Physiotherapy Involve?

Depending on the problem or condition, physiotherapy may involve:

  • exercises and stretches
  • joint manipulation
  • soft tissue massage
  • breathing exercises
  • ultrasound
  • the use of hot packs or cold packs

Your physiotherapist can discuss possible treatments which may be appropriate for you.