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Physiotherapy is a therapeutic health profession that helps to enhance mobility and quality of life by using clinical reasoning to deliver the most suitable treatment for an injury or condition. Physiotherapists have an aim to 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 and postural problems that may arise for many different reasons and work closely with members of the other health care professionals to ensure that the client gets the best results for their problem. They also deliver patient education and help people avoid injuries and maintain a fit, healthy body.
Injuries due to sport, accidents or overuse can cause structural damage to the body, resulting in tissue breakdown and dysfunction. The body's response to injury is inflammation, followed by tissue repair, regeneration and scar tissue formation. Physiotherapy promotes tissue healing and helps to restore pain free function and movement.
Early physical rehabilitation is critical to prevent the development of chronic conditions. When physical injuries or conditions are left untreated, or if treatment is delayed, chronic pain, permanent functional loss, physical deformities and permanent disabilities may develop.
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WHAT DOES A PHYSIOTHERAPIST DO?
integrate clinical expertise with evidence-based research. Physiotherapists
are trained to assess the underlying causes of joint, muscle and nerve disorder, educate patients about managing their condition, and advise ways to prevent pain and injury. Often, a personal exercise program will be prescribed.
use a wide range of drug-free techniques to relieve pain, restore function and movement, and prevent further problems, including:
- Joint mobilisation and manipulation
- Therapeutic exercise and stretches
- Electrophysical agents (such as hot packs, ice & ultrasound)
- Soft tissue massage
- Breathing exercises & techniques
are involved in helping people of all ages, from young infants to the elderly, and most commonly treat people suffering back or neck pain, other muscular pain and sporting injuries.
Physiotherapy is also useful in the management of a wide variety of other conditions, including: neurological illness such as stroke and Parkinson’s Disease; movement disorders in children; rehabilitation after major injury; headaches; incontinence; and recovery following surgery and child birth.
are university educated health practitioners, with entry to the profession being at either Bachelors or Masters Degree level. Many physiotherapists undertake further qualifications at Masters level in specialist clinical areas or research higher degrees at Masters or Doctoral level.
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