Physiotherapists are health care professionals whose job it is to help patients improve or restore physical mobility, physical independence, health, and wellness. Primary training for physiotherapists focuses on body movement. These medical professionals understand not only how the body moves, but the problems that can develop to limit mobility. When there is body mobility impairment, they are trained to know how to restore or improve body mobility.
Physiotherapists help patients manage an array of conditions that affect many different body systems including the nervous system, circulatory system, respiratory system, and musculoskeletal system.
Physiotherapists help improve the mobility of people with health problems including spinal conditions, joint conditions, lung conditions, and heart conditions. These medical professionals help people suffering from different types of chronic pain including back pain and neck pain to find pain relief through physiotherapy. Physiotherapists also treat chronic pain, mobility limitations and wellness problems caused by different types of injuries, including work-related injuries, accident-related injuries and sports-related injuries.
Physiotherapists are also trained to help patients suffering from chronic medical conditions, like cerebral palsy and spina bifida, by helping the patients to increase mobility and as a result gain more independence.
Physiotherapists may also be a part of the treatment team for cancer patients and patients with brain injuries. Additionally, these medical professionals can help with a variety of other medical conditions including incontinence and stress injuries.
When a patient goes to see a physiotherapist, the physiotherapist will first examine a patient to determine her levels of mobility, endurance, and strength. This examination can include a health history review, pain evaluation, range of motion evaluation and any additional assessments necessary for the physiotherapist to diagnose the patient’s condition.
The physiotherapist uses this information to form a diagnosis. With the help of the patient, the physiotherapist will then form a treatment plan and goals for treatment. These goals can include things like an end to incontinence for a patient being treated for that condition. Depending on the patient’s condition, treatment may be in the physiotherapist’s office or in the patient’s home. The physiotherapist may request that the patient perform certain exercises at home in between physiotherapy sessions.
The treatments can involve a variety of components. including strengthening exercises and therapeutic exercises. Strengthening and therapeutic exercises are body movements prescribed to improve mobility, and flexibility. These exercises can help correct muscle imbalances and improve muscle alignment. Physiotherapist may also through manual therapy help patients reduce pain and increase mobility. Some physiotherapists are also trained in acupuncture and include acupuncture as a part of their plan to improve a patient’s overall wellness.
Over the course of physiotherapy, patients will see themselves moving closer to the goals they set with the physiotherapists. Proof of progress can include outcomes like, returning to work, returning to a sports team, walking or running further, increased strength, increased endurance, increased motion, decreased pain intensity, improved body functions, and improved quality of life.