Physiotherapy Basics

Physiotherapy (also known as physical therapy) is a very important discipline of medicine. In the United States, people who wish to become physiotherapists must go through intensive and lengthy training in schools to become certified. There are physical therapists, assistants as well as technicians and aides who must all become certified before they are able to practice.

What Are the Employment Opportunities?
Physical therapists have been increasingly gaining more and more places to work across North America. Many Americans have found that they are able to get employment more readily in rural areas, busy inner city areas, or even interstate or international locations.

Physical therapists make on average about $40,000 per year and about $19/hour. Job prospects have been growing and it is a good profession to get trained in where there is a need.

What Do Physiotherapists Do?
A physiotherapist largely works with patients who need some sort of rehabilitation after an injury or for managing certain types of pain that they must live with or overcome following some kind of an injury. There are many different types of specialists who deal with one aspect of physiotherapy. Here are a few of them;

–       Pulmonary and cardiovascular – this branch of physiotherapy deals with people who have had cardiac or lung surgery; their job is to help them get their endurance back through a slow progression of supervised physical exercises

–       Geriatric – this discipline of physiotherapy works with the elderly and helping them through adapting to the new limitations that aging has imposed on their bodies; arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and many other conditions are dealt with

–       Neurological – there are many illnesses that can affect the brain and sometimes rehabilitation is needed following such an injury; cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, stroke and multiple sclerosis are all specialties

–       Orthopedic – these physiotherapists deal with disorders and surgery in the musculoskeletal system; kinesiology is a very important branch of this science and exercise and nutrition science also comes into play here

–       Pediatric – this branch of physiotherapy deals with children and with detecting and treating conditions that might require rehabilitation at an early age; because it is all-encompassing for many conditions, specialists are trained specifically in the developing body

–       Sports – physical therapists work closely with professional athletes to develop training programs and practices which are safe; in addition, after an injury, they will work with the athletes to help them recover

Proactive and Preventative Physiotherapy
As with almost all medicine, physiotherapy is proactive and preventative in its emphasis. There are many practices that we can take to prevent injuries of many sorts and educating people about how to best take care of parts of their bodies which can be injured is a primary concert of physiotherapists. Especially when it comes to the realm of sports, physiotherapists will be able to help you determine precisely how you should practice your techniques so you can be the safest possible.

As such, physical therapy often has to do with many other branches of science and medicine. Optimal health through optimal nutrition is a very important aspect of the discipline as is regular exercise. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that over 70% of Americans are currently overweight or obese and because of this, it has deemed that there is an “obesity epidemic” and that regular exercise and healthy diet will cure it.

Physiotherapists are prevalent in many medical institutions. If you need assistance then contact your local health care provider. If you have a condition for which the professional help of a physical therapist is appropriate, then your doctor will be able to make a referral for you.

Stacy Smith is a health writer for, a review-driven community designed to help patients locate trusted medical facilities and specialists locally and overseas.