About Physiotherapy

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What is a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists are university trained professionals who assist people with movement and pain disorders that may be present from birth to older ages. People of all ages and activity levels may benefit from physiotherapy at some point. Physiotherapists are highly trained to assess and manage your condition and ensure that you reach the optimal outcome possible.



What do physiotherapists do?

Physiotherapists can use a wide variety of techniques to help your body work to its full potential.

A key element to physiotherapy is a thorough assessment. This will help the physiotherapist understand what the problem is and how to best improve it. From this they use their scientific training for form a management plan that will produce the best outcome.  Physiotherapy can help speed up the healing process, restore normal movement, reduce pain and improve your ability to do the things that are important to you.

These may include:

  • Mobilisation (moving a joint back and forth)
  • Exercise – eg, strengthening, control, stretching, endurance, fitness
  • Manipulation – quick thrust to a joint
  • Taping
  • Massage
  • Splint making/prescription
  • Muscle re-education
  • Advice – strategies to encourage best recovery, prevention
  • Neural strategies (eg mirror therapy, imagery)
  • Assistance with use of aids – eg., splints, crutches


Physiotherapists are regularly evaluating progress and will modify treatment to produce the best possible outcomes for what you want to achieve.


How are physiotherapists trained?

All physiotherapists must complete a university degree involving high level anatomy, physiology, understanding of pathology as well as an in depth clinical training. Australia has strict registration criteria for this, so you can be assured your physiotherapist is well trained.


Physiotherapists also have to complete a compulsory bi-yearly quota of professional development which ensures they are up to date in their knowledge.


How do physiotherapists differ from other health workers?

  • Physiotherapy is a tightly regulated profession.
  • Physiotherapists have a protected title meaning no one can just call themselves physiotherapists. To be a physiotherapist you must undergo extensive university and hospital based training.
  • Physiotherapists are subject to registration boards and adhere to strict professional and ethical standards, ensuring a high standard of behaviour and care.
  • Physiotherapists must continue to update their knowledge and skills.
  • Physiotherapists have an extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Most other people working in the health industry have relatively limited training by comparison and are unregulated. As such they may not have appropriate training to manage your problem and may not manage you safely.
  • Physiotherapists place a high value on in depth assessment. This means that treatment is tailored just for you and is more likely to get you to your goals.
  • Physiotherapists will give you realistic advice based on anatomy, physiology and clinical experience. This means that you won’t get unrealistic timeframes of recovery and you better know what to expect.


What to expect in a physiotherapy session.

Sessions at Therapy for Life Physiotherapy typically take approximately 30 minutes. This will not all be treatment time as it is vital that the physiotherapist assess your problem and review your progress. In an initial appointment the assessment may take 15-20 minutes. This allows the physiotherapist to thoroughly assess your problem and determine the best intervention. This does still leave ample time for treatment as assessment allows for selection of the best possible treatment technique for you.