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  • Writer's pictureHannah Foster-Middleton

What is Physiotherapy?


Physical therapy (PT), also known as physiotherapy, is one of the healthcare professions. Physiotherapy is provided by physical therapists or Physiotherapists who promote, maintain, or restore health through physical examinationdiagnosis, prognosis, patient education, physical intervention, rehabilitation, disease prevention, and health promotion

 In addition to clinical practice, other aspects of physical therapist practice include research, education, consultation, and health administration. Physical therapy is provided as a primary care treatment or alongside, or in conjunction with, other medical services.

Physical therapy addresses the illnesses or injuries that limit a person's abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs use an individual's history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies like X-rays, CT scans, or MRI findings. PT management commonly includes prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy, and manipulation, mechanical devices such as traction, education, and electrophysical modalities which include heat, cold, electricity, sound waves, radiation, assistive devices, prostheses, orthoses, and other interventions. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles, providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain, and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing therapeutic treatment in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease, or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy. Physical therapy is a professional career that has many specialties including musculoskeletalorthopedicscardiopulmonaryneurologyendocrinologysports medicinegeriatricspediatricswomen's healthwound care, and electromyographyNeurological rehabilitation is in particular a rapidly emerging field. PTs practice in many settings, such as private-owned physical therapy clinics, outpatient clinics or offices, health and wellness clinics, rehabilitation hospital facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education and research centers, schoolshospices, industrial and these workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers, and sports training facilities.[4]

Education varies greatly by country. The span of education ranges from some countries having little formal education to others having doctoral degrees and post-doctoral residencies and fellowships.

 

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