What do physiotherapists do?
Physiotherapists assess, diagnose and treat people with movement problems caused by a wide variety of joint, muscle and nerve disorders. A physical therapist learns to evaluate physical problems, create plans for patients, and see to carrying out those plans. Because the physiotherapist is often involve with helping clients or patients who are undergoing a difficult period in their life, a physiotherapy job can be professionally rewarding especially if you like to help others.
In the process of helping people with movement problems, physiotherapists use a range of drug-free techniques, including:
- joint mobilisation and manipulation
- exercise for a variety of conditions including lung disorders, arthritis and stroke
- electrophysical agents (such as hot packs, ice and interferential treatment)
- therapeutic exercises and stretches
- breathing exercises and techniques.
They also help people avoid injuries and maintain a fit, healthy body.
Physiotherapists can be involved in many diverse areas such as:
Sports Physical Therapy. Physiotherapists in this area of specialization works with athletes on the prevention and treatment of sport related injury.
Cardiopulmonary. Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation physical therapists treat a wide variety of individuals with cardiopulmonary disorders or those who have had cardiac or pulmonary surgery.
Geriatric. Geriatric physical therapy is concern with aging and thus physiotherapists in thus specialization work with older adults.
Neurological. Neurological physical therapists work with individuals with neurological disorder or disease such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, and stroke.
Orthopedic. Orthopedic physical therapists focus on disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system such as the treatment of post-operative orthopedic procedures, fractures, acute sports injuries, arthritis, sprains, strains, back and neck pain, spinal conditions and amputations.
Pediatric. Pediatric therapists work with infants, children and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases.
Integumentary. Integumentary refers to conditions involving the skin and related organs. Physiotherapist in this area work involves the treatment of wounds and burns.
Physiotherapists work in many places, including outpatient clinics or offices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education and research centers, schools and universities, hospices, industrial workplaces or other occupational environments, community centres, fitness centers and sports training facilities.
Degree in Physiotherapy
It normally takes three or four year course to attain an honours degree (BSc in physiotherapy. Many courses come offer practical training through mentored clinical placement. Clinical education provides you with the opportunity to apply theoretical and practical skills acquired in the academic units of study in the physiotherapy course in a health care setting. The training will involve both periods of theory and clinical experience gained by meeting and working with patients in various healthcare settings.
Some common subjects include anatomy, physiology, physics and pathology. You will also develop communication skills, study psychology and gain experience of practical treatment. Many university programs in Physiotherapy allow students to specialize. Some common area of specialization includes geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, neurological disorders and sports medicine.