What does a physiotherapist do?

Physiotherapy is a branch of allied health that focuses on the assessment, treatment, and prevention of physical injuries, mobility issues, pain or discomfort. A physiotherapist is a trained healthcare professional who uses their knowledge of applied science physiotherapy to help patients recover from injuries, illnesses, or surgeries that have affected their mobility and function.

The role of a physiotherapist in injury and illness recovery is to help patients regain their quality of life by improving their physical abilities. They work with patients to develop personalised treatment plans that address their specific needs and goals. Physiotherapists also educate patients on how to manage their conditions and prevent future injuries.

Physiotherapists treat a wide range of conditions, including musculoskeletal injuries, neurological disorders, respiratory conditions, and cardiovascular diseases. They also work with patients who have undergone surgery or have chronic pain.

When is physiotherapy used?

Physiotherapy is used to treat a variety of issues related to bones, joints and soft tissue, the brain and nervous system, the heart and circulation, and the lungs and breathing.

Physiotherapists can help with a variety of conditions, from sports injuries to post-operative rehabilitation, and can help improve strength, balance, and flexibility. They can also provide advice on how to prevent further injury and how to manage chronic conditions.

Techniques used by physiotherapists

The techniques used by physiotherapists will vary from person to person, depending on your particular injury, pain or discomfort.

Assessment techniques used by physiotherapists include a thorough examination of the patient’s medical history, physical abilities, and functional limitations.

Common techniques used in physiotherapy include manual therapy, exercise therapy, electrotherapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy. Manual therapy involves hands-on techniques such as joint mobilisation, soft tissue mobilisation, and manipulation. Exercise therapy involves specific exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and endurance. Electrotherapy uses electrical stimulation to reduce pain and promote healing. Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain and improve function. Massage therapy involves the manipulation of soft tissues to promote relaxation and reduce pain.

Each technique has its own benefits and uses, and a professional physiotherapist will determine which type of treatment is most suitable for you based on an initial assessment of your situation.

Physiotherapy isn’t only about in-clinic treatment, physiotherapists may also provide advice on lifestyle changes, such as posture and ergonomics, as well as education on how to prevent further injury or pain. They may also provide advice on nutrition and exercise to help improve your overall health and well-being. Physiotherapists may also refer you to other healthcare professionals if further treatment is needed.

It is important to remember that physiotherapy is a process, and it may take time to see improvements. Your physiotherapist will work with you to develop an individualised treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. With patience, hard work, and dedication, physiotherapy can help you to get back to doing what you love.

Benefits of physiotherapy treatment

The benefits of seeking physiotherapy treatment are numerous. Physiotherapy can help reduce pain, improve mobility, and increase strength and flexibility. It can also help improve posture, balance, and coordination, as well as reduce the risk of future injury. Physiotherapy can also be used to treat a wide range of conditions, from sports injuries to chronic illnesses.

Physiotherapy can also help improve overall quality of life by reducing stress, improving sleep and helping individuals achieve their physical goals and lead a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Physiotherapy is always tailored to each individual’s needs, allowing for a personalised approach to treatment. For example, a physiotherapist may use manual therapy techniques such as massage and joint mobilisation to reduce pain and improve mobility, or they may use exercise-based approaches to increase strength and flexibility. Additionally, they may provide advice on lifestyle modifications such as ergonomic changes or activity modification to help reduce the risk of injury. Ultimately, physiotherapy can help individuals achieve their goals and lead a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Time to book an appointment?

If you’ve decided it’s time to visit a physiotherapist, booking your appointment is easy. Simply research a local physiotherapist such as APM Auckland Physiotherapy or Queenstown Physiotherapy and book online or give them a call to lock in your appointment.

While you don’t need a referral to visit some physiotherapists, the option to see a GP first for a referral is there. Also note that if you are living in New Zealand and visit a physiotherapist for an ACC-covered injury, the cost of your treatment will be subsidised.

If you are experiencing any physical pain, discomfort or mobility issues, visiting a physiotherapist is a great place to start to get you back to doing what you love and improve your overall quality of life.