Physiotherapists diagnose, treat and prevent disease and disability using their expertise in movement and function. By working with the patient as a partner, physiotherapists help with injury recovery using modalities that reduce stiffness and pain and increase mobility.
Physiotherapists are also known as physical therapists. Their modalities to treat patients include prescribing exercise programs, manually manipulating joints and tissues to reduce pain and stiffness, and re-educating muscles so patients can have full control as they recover.
Some therapists utilize cutting edge techniques such as hydrotherapy, which harnesses the healing properties of water, as part of the treatment plan. Acupuncture is another alternative therapy method used by physiotherapists. In acupuncture, needles are inserted into the patient's meridian lines to potentially alleviate pain, reduce numbness and increase mobility.
Physiotherapists are found in multiple sectors of the healthcare industry. They often work as part of a public hospital's network of employees, and they sometimes run private practices or work out of community health centers.
Physiotherapists require advanced college degrees and must be certified with the appropriate boards, depending on the state. Courses and concentration of study can vary, giving physiotherapists a wide range of potential specialities. Examples include neurological, geriatric or orthopedic physical therapy, among many others.