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  Physiotherapy

 


IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a therapeutic health profession concerned with enhancing mobility and quality of life by using clinical reasoning to deliver the most suitable treatment for an injury or condition. Physiotherapists help people gain as much movement and physical independence as possible so they can resume their normal job or lifestyle. Physiotherapists assess, diagnose and treat people with movement problems. They also deliver patient education and help people avoid injuries and maintain a fit, healthy body.
Physiotherapy services are available to the community in a number of settings: private practice; sports facilities; hospitals; schools and universities; public health organizations; community centers; aged care facilities; and workplaces.

How does it work?

Physiotherapy integrates clinical expertise with evidence-based research. Physiotherapists are trained to assess the underlying causes of joint, muscle and nerve disorder, educate patients about managing their condition, and advise ways to prevent pain and injury. Often, a personal exercise program is prescribed.
Physiotherapists use a wide range of drug-free techniques to relieve pain, restore function and movement, and prevent further problems, including:
     Joint mobilization and manipulation
     Therapeutic exercise and stretches
     Electro physical agents (such as hot packs, ice & ultrasound)
     Soft tissue massage
     Breathing exercises & techniques
As a profession, physiotherapists work within a framework of empowering the individual, career or the community through education and the promotion of self-management of health and wellbeing.

Conditions commonly treated

Physiotherapists are involved in helping people of all ages, from young infants to the elderly, and commonly treat people suffering back or neck pain, other muscular pain and sports injuries.
Physiotherapy is also applied in the management of a wide variety of other conditions, including: neurological illness such as stroke and Parkinsonís Disease; movement disorders in children; rehabilitation after major injury; headaches; incontinence; and recovery following surgery and child birth.
Physiotherapy also plays a central role in the management and prevention of chronic conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

What qualifications?

Physiotherapists are university educated health practitioners, with entry to the profession being at either Bachelors or Masters Degree level. Many physiotherapists undertake further qualifications at Masters level in specialist clinical areas or research higher degrees at Masters or Doctoral level. Clinical Doctorate programs are being offered for the first time in 2006.

Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Conditions

The treatment of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions is a core function of physiotherapy practice.

Patients with arthritis benefit from:
     Joint mobilization;
     Electrotherapy;
     Hydrotherapy;
     Muscle strengthening exercises.
Physiotherapy reduces arthritic pain and reliance on drug therapy. Unlike pharmaceuticals physiotherapy has no side effects and no contraindications.

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy encompasses the majority of work done in private practice.

Physiotherapists treat:
     Back and neck pain;
     Muscle strains, spasms and contusions;
     Joint injuries;
     Tendonitis and bursitis;
     Muscle imbalance or weakness.
Physiotherapy is vital for patients following surgery, sporting injury and workplace and road accidents.

Physiotherapy modalities are critical to the treatment and management of people with disabilities that have musculoskeletal elements. Quality of life is improved by therapy, education and prescription of aids etc. Physiotherapists teach people with disabilities and their families how to improve mobility and teach carers how to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury.
 

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