Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession with a science foundation. The range of work is very broad and varied and involves working with people to promote their own health and well being.

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function to as near normal as possible when someone is affected by injury, illness or by developmental or other disability.

Physiotherapists work in a wide variety of health settings such as intensive care, mental illness, stroke recovery, occupational health, and care of the elderly.

While often associated with musculoskeletal sports injuries, their work extends far beyond this to such conditions as incontinence, asthma and cerebral palsy.

It uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being, taking account of variations in health status.

Physiotherapy 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.

Promoting health

Physiotherapists are not only there to solve problems - they are also there to help prevent them from arising in the first place. This summary explains the physiotherapist's role in promoting all-round health.

Each person makes different demands of their body, depending on their lifestyle and the activities they carry out.

How their body responds to those demands is governed by a range of factors, including their overall physical condition. A physiotherapist can help you find the best way to use your body to maximise your strengths, eliminate bad habits and put minimal strain on weaker areas, to help you enjoy a more full and healthy life.

What will happen when I see a physiotherapist?

The physiotherapist will assess how your movement is functioning, and will ask about how it is affecting your life. They will watch your movements, they may feel the joints concerned, and will ask you about:


  • what tasks you need to carry out

  • current activities that cause you difficulty

  • any previous discomfort or injuries.

To complete the picture, they will also need to know about your general health and lifestyle, including:

  • how active you are

  • what your diet is like

  • how you manage your weight

  • whether you smoke or drink alcohol - and if so, how much

  • what you do for work and in your leisure time, and how you ...spend time with friends or family?

As well as treatment and advice for any particular condition, and working with you to set goals, the physiotherapist may offer health and lifestyle advice.