What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy, often referred to as physio, or MSK physio, uses physical methods, such as massage and manipulation, to promote healing and wellbeing. Physiotherapy treatments are often used to help restore a person’s range of movement after injury or illness.
Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals who have trained specifically in physiotherapy. They work in a number of different places, including:
- GP surgeries
- private practices, like Paul Tompkins Physiotherapy
- the community
When is physiotherapy used?
Physiotherapists frequently treat problems that affect:
- heart, blood circulation and lungs
Physiotherapists also help people with mental health conditions, neurological conditions (those affecting the brain and nervous system) and chronic (long-term) health conditions.
By using a number of different approaches and techniques, a physiotherapist can help a person overcome injury or short-term health problems, or manage long-term disability.
Physiotherapists use a wide range of techniques and approaches, including:
- remedial exercises
- soft tissue massage and joint manipulation, using the hands to relieve muscle pain and stiffness and encourage blood flow to an injured part of the body to help recovery
- Thermotherapy, Cryotherapy & Electrotherapy such as Shockwave
- Specific 1:1 Rehabilitation
Physiotherapy tends to focus on using exercise prescription to reduce pain and increase function. Techniques and approaches can improve a person’s ability to use parts of their body that are affected by a health condition or injury. For example, arthritis is a chronic condition that causes painful, stiff joints and is often associated with ageing. Physiotherapists can help keep the joints mobile and strengthen the surrounding muscles.
Who can physiotherapy help
Physiotherapy can help people of all ages and social backgrounds. In particular, physiotherapy can help rehabilitate (restore to health) people who have:
- short term or long term Musculoskeletal pain
- mobility issues
- a sports injury
- people recovering from Orthopaedic Surgery
- heart problems and breathing difficulties
- people with Neurological conditions
- people with heart problems and breathing difficulties
Almost all people who have an injury or a physical disability can benefit from physiotherapy, including children and elderly people.
For more information about when physiotherapy is used and how it can benefit children and the elderly, see our conditions treated section for more information.