Physiotherapists are experts in developing and maintaining people’s ability to move and function throughout their lives. With an advanced understanding of how the body moves and what keeps it from moving well, we promote wellness, mobility and independence. We treat and prevent many problems caused by pain, illness, disability and disease, sport and work related injuries, ageing and long periods of inactivity.
Physiotherapists work with people affected by a wide range of conditions and symptoms, for example:
- painful conditions such as arthritis, repetitive strain injury, neck and back pain
- strokes, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury
- heart problems
- cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy
- trauma, such as road traffic accidents and landmines
We work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, health centres, sports centres, education and research centres, hospices and nursing homes, rural and community settings.
Here are some examples of how physiotherapists make a difference. We:
- use our skills to treat the underlying causes of pain and limitations in movement and function
- use many treatment approaches to help individuals regain their mobility and maximise their potential
- promote healthy lifestyles and exercise
- treat each patient/client as an individual and thoroughly assess them to identify their needs
- treat sports injuries and promote safe and healthy activities
- work with children with coordination, balance and other movement problems to improve and maximise their independence.
To achieve all this, physiotherapists are educated over several years, giving them a full knowledge of the body’s systems and the skills to treat a wide range of problems. This education is university-based and at a level that provides full professional recognition and allows us to practise independently. Continuing education ensures that we keep up to date with the latest advances in research and practice. Many physiotherapists are engaged in research as well.
More detailed information about what physiotherapists do can be found in WCPT’s Description of Physical Therapy at www.wcpt.org/publications/docs.php
About World Physiotherapy Day
World Physiotherapy Day falls on 8th September every year, and is an opportunity for physio’s from all over the world to raise awareness about the crucial role their profession plays in making and keeping people well, mobile and independent. The day was established in 1996, by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy – the profession’s global body representing over 300,000 physical therapists/physiotherapists in 101 countries.
This information may be freely reproduced with acknowledgement to WCPT.
Copyright © World Confederation for Physical Therapy 2008.