What is physiotherapy/ physical therapy?

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What is physiotherapy/ physical therapy?

The Csp defines physiotherapy (physical therapy is the american term) as:


”  Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected    by injury, illness or disability.

  • Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manualtherapy, education and advice.
  • They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease.
  • The profession helps to encourage development and facilitate recovery, enabling people to stay in work while helping them to remain independent for as long as possible.     “
A day in the life of a physio:

This involves taking a history and asking questions which may help build a picture of likely conditions. From this I will formulate a likely hypothesis and pick specific and sensitive tests to rule out other possible differential diagnoses. To be able to perform a accurate objective assessment you need to be able to see the soft tissues clearly so ask patients to bring shorts and a strappy top if they do not feel comfortable undressing to their underwear.

  • Treat a variety of conditions. Click here to see full list or scroll below to see a brief list. A physio will be able to complete an assessment (Usually within 30-45 minutes) and be able to tell you if they can help you, if you need onward referral or the likely prognosis of your condition. You can either be referred through the NHS via your GP or attend directly to a private physiotherapist before seeing your GP. If you have any red flags on the assessment portion of our pages you should attend your GP or A and E immediately.
  • Use a variety of treatment techniques and modalities. Including manual therapy, soft tissue mobilisations, hydrotherapy, specific exercises, ultrasound, acupuncture, TENs, muscle energy techniques, cryrotherapy, joint mobilisations, posture re-education, video analysis, photo analysis, sport technique, competition screening, mobilising patients day one in hospital.
  • Liase with other medical professionals such as Consultants, Occupational therapist, Nurses, GP’s and Speech and Language therapists.
  • Attend courses and research evidence based treatments to keep up to date on recent literature and current concepts of treatments.

 As members of the CSP physiotherapist abide by a professional code of conduct to continue professional development and offer high standards of treatment.

Common conditions treated include:

Click here to see more from the CSP

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