Member of the Health Professions Council (HPC) (Formal S.R.P)
What is physiotherapy?
"Physiotherapy is a health care profession concerned with human function and movement and maximising potential:
it uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being, taking account of variations in health status
it is science-based, committed to extending, applying, evaluating and reviewing the evidence that underpins and informs its practice and delivery
the exercise of clinical judgement and informed interpretation is at its core."
Physiotherapists work in a great variety of settings such as orthopaedics, intensive care, paediatrics, mental illness, stroke recovery, occupational health, ergonomics, musculoskeletal treatment in hospitals and private practice, and care of the elderly.
What is physiotherapy ?
Physiotherapy is a science-based healthcare profession which views movement as central to health and well being. Physiotherapists aim to identify and make the most of movement ability by health promotion, preventive advice, treatment and rehabilitation.
Core skills used by Chartered Physiotherapist include manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and the application of electrophysical modalities.
Physiotherapists believe it is of vital importance to take note of psychological, cultural and social factors which influence their clients. They try and bring the patients into an active role to help make the best of independence and function.
Physiotherapy is an autonomous profession (practitioners make their own clinical judgments and treatment choices) and practice reflection (reviewing their own behaviour and success in their work and taking action as appropriate to solve problems they identify in themselves).
Systematic clinical reasoning is used in a problem-solving approach to patient-centred care.
What do physiotherapists do?
Chartered physiotherapists work with a broad variety of physical problems, especially those associated with the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. They may work alone, with physiotherapy colleagues or teams and with other healthcare professionals in multi-professional teams.
These are examples of the areas physiotherapists work in:
Outpatients - treating spinal and joint problems, accidents and sports injuries.
Intensive Care Units - keeping limbs mobile and chests clear.
Women's Health - ante- and post-natal care advice, exercise and posture, managing continence and post-gynaecological operations.
Care of Elderly - maintaining mobility and independence, rehabilitation after falls, treatment of arthritis, Parkinson's disease, chest conditions.
Neurology - helping people restore normal movement and function in stroke, multiple sclerosis and other conditions.
Orthopaedics and Trauma - restoring mobility after hip and knee replacements and spinal operations, treating patients after accidents.
Mental Illness - taking classes in relaxation and body awareness, improving confidence and self-esteem through exercise.
People with Learning Difficulties - using sport and recreation to develop people, assessing and providing specialist footwear, seating and equipment.
Occupational Health - treating employees in small to large organisations and companies, looking at work habits to prevent physical problems such as repetitive strain injury.
Terminally Ill (Palliative Care) - working in the community or in hospices, treating patients with cancer and AIDS.
Paediatrics - treating sick and injured children, those with severe mental and physical handicaps, and conditions like cerebral palsy and spina bifida
Community - treating a wide variety of patients at home and giving advice to carers.
Private Sector - working independently in private practice, clinics, hospitals, and GP surgeries, treating a wide range of conditions.
Education and Health Promotion - teaching people about many conditions and lifestyle choices. This may include back care, ergonomics, taking exercise classes and cardiac rehabilitation groups.
Sports clinics - treating injuries in sportsmen and women, advising on recovering fitness and avoiding repeated injury.
Voluntary Organisations - advising and consulting for organisations supporting and caring for people with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.
Physiotherapists treat a range of physical problems resulting from illness, injury, disability or ageing. These problems are treated with manual therapy, movement, exercise and the application of technological equipment, eg ultrasound.
Physiotherapists treat people of all ages and assist the rehabilitation process by developing and restoring the function of the body, enabling patients to improve their mobility. They will also offer advice on how to prevent further physical damage.
When compiling a treatment programme, physiotherapists must take into consideration any psychological, cultural or social factors that may influence the patient's role in actively helping themselves.
Typical work activities
Physiotherapists treat patients of all ages and backgrounds with various health conditions and injuries. Patients include:
those with sports injuries;
people who may have particular and treatable disabilities;
those in intensive care or the terminally ill;
people with learning difficulties;
those whose limbs and joints have suffered from the effects of the ageing process.
Treatment consists of encouraging exercise and movement by using hand and mechanical techniques, such as:
electro and/or hydrotherapy.
In addition to the more technical aspects of the work, typical work activities will also include:
writing patient case notes and reports;
collecting patient statistics;
educating and advising patients and their carers about how to prevent and/or improve conditions;
keeping up to date with new technologies available for treating patients;
liaising with other health care personnel to supply and receive relevant information about the background and progress of patients, as well as to refer patients who require other specific medical attention.
Physiotherapists will often see patients for several consultations over weeks or months in order for progress to be made.
The Organisation of Chartered Physiotherapists in Private Practice