Physiotherapy is an essential healthcare profession that deals primarily with the prevention or alleviation of movement dysfunction. Physiotherapists are skilled in the assessment and management of a broad range of conditions that affect the musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory, and nervous systems.
A physiotherapist is a university graduate of an accredited physiotherapy program, who is qualified to:
Movement dysfunction is any change in the way your body moves that limits what you want to do and how you live your life. The dysfunction may be due to pain, accident or injury, lack of activity, disease, problems that develop with aging, or psychological or social stress. A movement problem may show up as an actual or potential impairment related to the neuromuscular (nerves), musculoskeletal (muscles and joints), respiratory (lungs), or cardiovascular (heart) systems.
Physiotherapy is an important part of the Canadian and Nova Scotia healthcare system. As a part of this system, physiotherapists work closely with other health professionals, including physicians, occupational therapists, nurses, speech pathologists, social workers, respiratory therapists, and massage therapists.
A physician's referral is not required in order to see a physiotherapist, but physicians will often refer patients to physiotherapy for certain conditions. It is common for physiotherapists to treat patients who have been referred to them by a physician as well as those who come into clinics without a referral. Following a thorough assessment, a physiotherapist will design an individual treatment program that meets your needs and goals.
At its best, physiotherapy is an active partnership between patient and therapist.
Physiotherapists treat a wide variety of conditions, including
Physiotherapists often act as consultants to schools, governments, charities, businesses, and other organizations within the public and private sectors.
Physiotherapists may work in one or any combination of the following areas of practice: