What does a Physiotherapist do?

The value that physiotherapy can bring to an individual’s life is well understood. Some people have even been visiting their physiotherapist since childhood. However, for those who have never been to see a physiotherapist before, there can be a looming question mark over exactly what it is that physiotherapists do. In fact, this is one of the most common questions physiotherapists are asked.

What is the main job of a physiotherapist?

The answer is tricky, because physiotherapists do so much. Primarily, we might be described as experts of pain management, as a big role involves working to reduce the pain of our patients, from those who have suffered a new injury, to those who have had on-going pain for several years. We first identify the cause of the pain and can then provide manual therapy techniques, education and management strategies to help patients understand, control and reduce their pain.

Pain is usually the first thing that brings patients to see a physiotherapist, where this pain often causes patients to give up activities that they enjoy and may be getting in the way of everyday tasks. Many people reduce activity levels in an attempt to reduce pain, without even realizing it. Physiotherapists are able to determine which areas of your life you are struggling in, how pain is effecting it, and why this is occurring.

By identifying the cause of your symptoms, we can help to get you back to full function. Physiotherapists are able to do this for everyone including elite athletes and those dealing with serious disabilities. In fact, physiotherapists have a role to play at practically every stage of life.

We can assess infants to monitor their motor skill development and as they grow we help them deal with the pains and vulnerabilities of a growing body. Among other things, we can help improve the function of athletes and their performance, assist in preventing injuries, help those with pelvic floor dysfunction and work to prevent falls in the elderly.

Not just exercises and massage.

Physiotherapists offer a range of treatment options, from targeted stretches, manual therapies, dry needling, exercises and massage. They are also committed educators and take the role very seriously.

A large part of recovering from pain and injury comes from an understanding of what is happening in the body as well as the external causes of it, and then how to best manage these issues. Rather than fostering a dependency on their therapist, we aim to empower our patients to improve their health independently as much as possible.

Physiotherapists aim, to improve your quality of life and remove any barriers to full participation, whether these barriers are due to pain, weakness, stiffness or biopsychosocial factors.

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual condition.

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