What is Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a type of therapy that can help anybody restore movement and function back to their full potential. Physiotherapy takes a holistic approach, that involves the patient directly in their own care.

Physiotherapists are trained healthcare professionals. They work in specialist areas that include:

· musculoskeletal injuries
· sports injuries
· orthopaedics and trauma
· intensive care
· recovery after major surgery
· mental health
· neurology (including stroke)
· long-term conditions
· men's and women's health (including incontinence)
· workplace health
· paediatrics (children)
· care of the elderly
· education and health promotion

Many physiotherapists work as part of a multidisciplinary team. They can work from NHS hospitals, community-based organisations, private hospitals and clinics, sports clubs, charities and workplaces.
Physiotherapists help treat physical problems linked to a number of the body's systems, including:
· musculoskeletal – bones, joints and soft tissues
· neuromuscular – the brain and nervous system
· cardiovascular – heart and blood circulation
· respiratory – the organs that help you breathe, such as the windpipe (trachea), voicebox (larynx) and lungs

What do physiotherapists do?
Examples of approaches used in physiotherapy include:
· movement and exercise – taking into account a person’s current level of health and their specific requirements
· manual therapy techniques – where the physiotherapist aids recovery by using their hands to relieve muscle pain and stiffness, and encourage blood flow to an injured part of the body
· other techniques – such as heat, cold and acupuncture to ease pain

The aim of physiotherapy is to help restore movement and normal body function in cases of illness, injury and disability. As well as treating a specific problem, your physiotherapist may also suggest ways you can improve your general well-being – for example, by taking regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight for your height and build. Physiotherapists take a holistic approach, looking at the body as a whole rather than focusing on the individual factors of an injury or illness.
For example, back pain can be caused by a number of different things, including:
· poor posture
· inherited spinal deformity
· bending or twisting awkwardly
· overstretching
· standing for long periods
· lifting or carrying objects incorrectly

A physiotherapist will look at your individual situation. As well as treating the problem, they may also suggest things you can do on a daily basis to help relieve pain and discomfort.
For example, if you have lower back pain, maintaining good posture and doing core stability exercises to strengthen stomach and lower back muscles may help.