Being a physio is one of the most rewarding professions to work in. This course gives you a comprehensive understanding of physical therapy and provides training for working in hospitals and clinics, charting care plans, preventative physiotherapy, evaluating and treating individuals with various musculoskeletal conditions, and more.
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is the oldest form of healthcare and is based on the principles of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and neurophysiology. It is used to restore or maintain functional abilities in the body by addressing the underlying cause of disease or injury. Physiotherapy may be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including pain, stiffness, and mobility problems
Common Treatments that Physiotherapists Provide
Treatment for Pain Relief: Physiotherapy can help relieve pain from conditions such as back pain, neck pain, arthritis, and menstrual cramps.
Treatment for Stiffness and Limitation in Movement: Physiotherapy can help improve stiffness and movement limitations caused by conditions such as arthritis, polio, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injury.
Treatment for Injury Rehabilitation: Physiotherapy can help speed up the rehabilitation process after an injury by helping to restore the range of motion, strength, and flexibility in the affected area.
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Why is Physiotherapy Important?
- Physiotherapy can be used to treat a wide range of conditions and injuries, from minor aches and pains to more complex issues like chronic pain or joint problems.
- It can help improve the function of your muscles and joints, which can lead to increased mobility and improved quality of life.
- Physiotherapy can also help reduce the risk of further injury by rehabilitating damaged tissue and restoring function.
- Physiotherapy is an important part of the rehabilitation process after an injury, helping you to regain strength and mobility as quickly as possible.
Different Types of Physiotherapy
There are many different types of physiotherapy, each with its benefits and limitations. Here is a brief overview of the most common types:
- Manual Therapy focuses on using hands and fingers to manipulate tissues and joints. This can be used to treat problems such as pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Manual therapy is typically used for smaller areas such as the neck, shoulders, or back.
- Exercise Therapy involves using physical activity to improve health. This can be done in two ways: passive exercise (where no effort is needed) or active exercise (where some effort is required). Passive exercise helps to increase blood flow and promote better joint function while active exercise helps to reduce inflammation and improve muscle strength and endurance.
- Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that uses tiny needles to stimulate specific points on the body to relieve pain or tension. Acupuncture is effective for treating a wide range of conditions including pain, stress reduction, sleep disorders, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Massage Therapy employs manual pressure applied to the body to improve circulation, alleviate stress, and promote relaxation. Massage can be used for both general relaxation and targeted treatment for specific problems such as pain relief from arthritis or sports injuries.
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What are the Physiotherapy Techniques?
There are many physiotherapy techniques used by professionals to help patients with various rehabilitation needs. The following is a list of some of the more common techniques:
Mobilization: This technique is used to help move injured or stiff muscles and joints. It can be done using massage, traction, or applied pressure.
Range of Motion Exercises: These exercises help stretch and mobilize the range of motion available to the target muscle or joint. They include activities like bending, stretching, and rotating the joint in different directions.
Electromyography (EMG): EMG is a diagnostic tool that uses electrical signals to measure muscle activity. This information can be used to determine if a muscle is active or not, which can help diagnose injuries or dysfunction.
Heat Therapy: Heat therapy is often used to reduce inflammation and pain in the body. It can be delivered through hot towels, showers, baths, or heat pads.
What’s involved in becoming a Physiotherapy
Becoming a Physiotherapy professional is a long and arduous process, but with the right preparation and dedication, it can be an exciting and rewarding career. Here are five steps you can take to become a physiotherapy professional:
- Get your degree in physiotherapy.
- Start working as a physio assistant or physical therapist in an outpatient clinic or hospital setting.
- Take additional courses and exams to become a registered physiotherapist (RPT).
- Continue your education by earning a doctor of physiotherapy (DTP) degree or post-graduate diploma in physiotherapy (PGDip).
- Join the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) as a member and participate in its activities to further develop your skills and knowledge as a physiotherapy professional.
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How to Apply for a Physiotherapy Course
- Check if there is a course in your area
- Read the Physiotherapy Full Form blog article
- Contact the Physiotherapy School of your choice and ask about their course requirements
- Complete an application form
- Supply evidence of qualifications and experience
- Meet the academic requirements of the course you have chosen
- Attend an interview
- Pay tuition fees
Physiotherapy Career Paths
Therapist in a Hospital or Clinic: This is the most common route for physiotherapists, as they are often employed in hospitals and clinics. Physiotherapists work with patients to help them recover from illness or injury, and may also provide rehabilitation services.
Consultant: A small number of physiotherapists work as consultants, which means that they work with individual patients rather than in a team setting. They may offer services such as exercise therapy and manual therapy.
Teacher: A relatively new path for physiotherapy professionals is becoming teachers. This involves completing an accredited graduate degree in physiotherapy and then working as a teacher in an accredited school of physio.
Research Scientist: A relatively new path for physiotherapy professionals is becoming research scientists. This involves completing an accredited graduate degree in physiology or another relevant field and then working as a researcher at a university or laboratory.
Manager: A small number of physiotherapy professionals manage their businesses. This involves setting up their practice, managing staff, and developing the business themselves.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does physiotherapy work?
A: Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to help injured or damaged tissues in the body heal and restore function. They may use massage, stretching, mobilization, exercises, and other therapies to improve the circulation and flexibility in muscles and joints.
Q: Can I just go see a physiotherapist without an appointment?
A: No! To be treated by a qualified physiotherapist you will need an appointment. You can arrange an appointment through your doctor or your local physiotherapy association.
Q: Who needs physiotherapy?
A: Anyone can benefit from physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is particularly beneficial for people who have chronic pain or injuries that do not respond to other treatments. It can also be helpful for people who are trying to recover from an illness or injury.