Physiotherapy is a health profession concerned with the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disease and disability through physical means.
Physiotherapists act as primary care providers (you can access physiotherapy without a doctor’s referral) and determine a patient’s management plan or may work in partnership with other medical professionals.
Conditions managed by a physical therapist are grouped into three categories: musculoskeletal, cardiopulminary and neurological, or maybe multiple combinations of these.
Initially a physiotherapist will conduct an assessment of the patient’s medical history and then go into an objective examination. This is done to rule out serious problems, establish functional limitations, refine the diagnosis, guide therapy and establish a baseline to monitor progress. Guided by the findings the physical therapist will develop a treatment plan which may include exercise, manual techniques, electro-physical agents, patient education, all of which are reviewed and refined as needed. The physiotherapist and client work together to establish and reach goals of treatment.