Physiotherapy is otherwise considered to be a physical therapy that uses various exercises and massage techniques to encourage the body to heal itself. It is also used to help rehabilitate patients so that they can learn muscle movements again, or to get over aches and pains associated with healing injuries after an accident. In many cases exercising, manipulating and massaging the body all falls within the realm of physiotherapy and are tools that physiotherapists use in order to help speed patient recovery after accidents, illness, and the onset of disease. Physiotherapy dates back to around 460 BC where many were using a hydrotherapy or water therapy to help condition patients and improve their strength and healing process. Check out Movement 101 for more info.
In 1894 a group of nurses founded the chartered Society that would soon become an active physiotherapy program. Eventually the same program would work with many World War I and World War II veterans to help improve their healing process. Throughout history the foundation has changed dramatically as have the practices and medical technology that is available for physiotherapists around the world. A physiotherapist will be responsible for working with patients who may have their movements restricted by aging, disease, environmental factors, overuse, or a previous accident.
A physiotherapist uses a variety of therapy exercises to target areas of injury and also work to improve movement and quality of life for their patients. They work in private clinics, in the community, residential homes, hospitals and more. They also can provide relief for a wide range of physical problems within the body.
Physiotherapy covers systems in the body such as the neuromuscular system, musculoskeletal system, respiratory system and cardiovascular system. Physiotherapists receive training that can help to strengthen each one of these systems as well as get them to work on repairing damage from sickness, disease and accidents that their patients may have experienced. They can also work to assist in healing and recovery after a patient has just had major surgery. Patients can see a physiotherapist with or without a doctors referral.