What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a regulated health care profession dedicated to evaluating, restoring and maintaining physical function. It is a distinct form of care that can be performed independently or in conjunction with other types of medical management. Physiotherapy is a drug-free health care practice. It can be useful in the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of injuries, diseases, and other conditions. Physiotherapy combines various techniques used to treat a variety of issues such as musculo-skeletal conditions of the back or neck, or joint pain such as hips, knees, ankles, wrists, elbows or shoulders; it can also improve balance, strength and mobility. Physiotherapy not only allows for treatment of current pain or injuries, it can also protect against future concerns.

What education does a physiotherapist have?

Prior to entering practice, physiotherapists must graduate with a degree from a physical therapy education program. In order to practice in Ontario, physiotherapists must be registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.

How can a Physiotherapist help me?

Physiotherapists often perform rehabilitation after a person has undergone surgery or has been in an accident. Physiotherapists combine specialized knowledge of how the body functions with clinical skills used to assess and treat physical illness, injury or disability. Physiotherapists are not only interested in symptoms, but in factors that contribute to physical concerns. Through performing a variety of assessments, the source of the problem can be identified, along with predisposing and contributing factors, allowing effective interventions that can be developed and implemented to promote recovery and to reduce the risk of future recurrence of concerns.

How do physiotherapists assess?

A physiotherapist will begin by conducting an extensive assessment of needs, gathering information such as health history and an evaluation of pain, movement patterns, strength and range of motion. This information will then be used to develop an individualized treatment plan to help patient’s meet their goals. Current evidence-based practice is used to inform techniques and approaches used in treatment planning.

What techniques will the Physiotherapist use?

Based on information gathered through an initial assessment, a treatment plan is created to ensure that health goals and patient specific goals are met. Throughout the treatment process, physiotherapists will work in close collaboration with patients in performing therapeutic exercises, monitoring progress and adjusting treatment goals according to changes in health needs.

What should I wear to my initial assessment with the Physiotherapist?

Patients should bring comfortable clothing that allows the physiotherapist easy access to the area of concern.

Do I need a referral to see a Physiotherapist?

Referrals can be done through a health care provider or can be self-generated. Clients can simply contact the clinic directly or have a health practitioner, such as a doctor, call or fax the clinic with the referral request.