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Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that addresses a wide range of sports, musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiorespiratory conditions. Physiotherapists are experts in human movement and function, utilising their knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals of all ages and abilities. 

When you make an appointment with a physiotherapist, they will usually start by asking you about your main concern and your medical history related to it. This helps them to understand why you’re seeking treatment, your medical background, and any previous treatments you may have had. 

After they have gathered this information, they will perform a physical examination to assess your range of motion, strength, flexibility, and other factors that may be relevant to your condition. Based on the results of the examination, they will provide a diagnosis and create a customised treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs. Your treatment plan may involve various options:

Manual therapy: is a hands-on approach used by physiotherapists to diagnose, treat, and manage musculoskeletal conditions and pain. It involves skilled manipulation and mobilisation of joints, muscles, and soft tissues to reduce pain, improve mobility, and restore function. During a manual therapy session, the therapist uses various techniques, including gentle pressure, stretching, and manipulation, to address areas of tension, stiffness, or dysfunction in the body. The goal of manual therapy is to promote healing, alleviate discomfort, and enhance overall physical well-being by restoring optimal movement and function to the body’s structures.

Exercise therapy: Exercise therapy, as provided by a physiotherapist, involves a personalised program of physical activities and movements designed to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and overall function. These exercises are tailored to the individual’s specific needs and goals, taking into account their condition, abilities, and preferences. The physiotherapist guides the individual through the exercises, teaching proper techniques and ensuring safe progression. Exercise therapy may include a variety of activities such as stretching, strengthening exercises, cardiovascular conditioning, balance training, and functional movements. The goal of exercise therapy is to enhance mobility, reduce pain, prevent injury, and promote overall health and well-being through regular physical activity.

Education: Beyond hands-on treatment, physiotherapy emphasises patient education and empowerment. Physiotherapists educate patients about their condition, pain and pacing strategies, teach self-management strategies, and empower them to take an active role in their recovery and long-term health.

Adjunctive therapy: Physiotherapists utilise a variety of modalities and adjunctive treatments to complement manual therapy and exercise. From heat and cold therapy, blood flow restriction cuffs, taping to electrical stimulation and real-time ultrasound, these modalities are options physiotherapists may use to help enhance treatment outcomes.

Dry needling: may be used as part of a treatment plan for conditions such as muscle pain, myofascial pain syndrome, tendinopathy, and joint dysfunction. It may be used in combination with other therapies, such as exercise therapy, manual therapy, and modalities like heat or ice. Before undergoing dry needling, patients typically undergo a thorough assessment to determine the most appropriate treatment approach.

Alternative therapy: some physiotherapists are also yoga teachers, meditation teachers, or skilled in integrating these things into the rest of your sessions. 

In summary, physiotherapy is a multifaceted profession that encompasses a wide range of treatment styles, each tailored to address the unique needs and goals of the individual. Whether you’re seeking relief from pain, recovering from an injury, or striving to improve your overall well-being, physiotherapy offers a personalised approach to help you move better, feel better, and live your best life.

Contact one of our clinics today if you wish to book an appointment.

Kinney, M., Seider, J., Beaty, A. F., Coughlin, K., Dyal, M., & Clewley, D. (2020). The impact of therapeutic alliance in physical therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain: A systematic review of the literature. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 36(8), 886–898.
Kunstler, B., Fuller, R., Pervan, S., & Merolli, M. (2019). Australian adults expect physiotherapists to provide physical activity advice: a survey. Journal of Physiotherapy, 65(4), 230–236.