Physiotherapists treat patients with physical difficulties resulting from illness, injury, disability or ageing. They treat people of all ages including children, the elderly, stroke patients and people with sports injuries.
Physiotherapists work with patients to identify and improve their movement and function. They help promote their patients' health and wellbeing, and assist the rehabilitation process by developing and restoring body systems, in particular the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. They devise and review treatment programmes, comprising manual therapy, movement, therapeutic exercise and the application of technological equipment, e.g. ultrasound. Physiotherapists also provide advice on how to avoid injury.
Physiotherapists work in a range of settings, including hospitals, health centres, industry, private practices and sports clubs. They treat a wide variety of conditions, such as injuries and fractures (including sports injuries), orthopaedics and joints, strokes, post-surgical rehabilitation, intensive care or terminal illness, abdominal conditions, obstetrics and gynaecology, chest conditions, posture and movement, neurological conditions, learning difficulties and mental illness.
Treatment involves encouraging exercise and movement by the use of techniques such as therapeutic movement and exercise therapy, massage, manipulation, electrotherapy and/or hydrotherapy.