Physiotherapy is a rehabilitation profession with a presence in all health care delivery streams in Canada: hospitals, long-term care facilities, home care, community-based clinics, schools, private practice clinics and primary care networks. In all provinces, physiotherapists are registered to practice with their corresponding provincial regulatory College.
While physicians are referred to as MDs and nurses as RNs, physiotherapists or physical therapists are often referred to as PTs. The professional titles for this leading rehabilitation health care professional are physiotherapist or physical therapist.
Physiotherapy is a drug-free health care practice. Physiotherapists work in partnership with individuals of all ages to break down the barriers to physical function whether that means working with patients pre and post surgery, helping people come back from illness and chronic disease, injury, industrial and motor vehicle accidents and age related conditions. Physiotherapists also play an important role in health promotion and disease prevention. Physiotherapy is the treatment of preference for many who suffer from pain whether in the back or neck, or joint pain such as hips, knees, ankles, wrists, elbows or shoulders.
Physiotherapy has proven to be effective in the treatment and management of arthritis, diabetes, stroke and traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and a range of respiratory conditions offering those afflicted with tools and techniques to acquire and maintain an optimum level of function and pain free living.
What is a Physiotherapist
A physiotherapist is a university educated health professional and a recognized member of your health care team.
Physiotherapists work in many areas including: cardio-respiratory, orthopedics, neurology, paediatrics, women’s health, seniors’ health, and sports.
When you see a physiotherapist, he or she will complete an extensive assessment that may include your health history, evaluation of pain and movement patterns, strength, joint range of motion, reflexes, sensation and cardio-respiratory status. In addition, the physiotherapist examines relevant x-rays, laboratory tests, medical records and surgical notes. Based on this assessment the physiotherapist establishes a diagnosis and works in partnership with you to develop individualized goals and treatment programs.
Physiotherapy treatment can include therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, acupuncture, electrical modalities such as TENS or ultrasound, and work hardening. A physiotherapist promotes independence. Emphasis is placed on what you can do for yourself and on education to prevent future injuries or disability.
Benefits of Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy can make a difference in an individual’s ability to live an active, healthy lifestyle. For many seniors, disabled or chronically ill people, physiotherapy is the key to restoring and maintaining a level of physical function that permits independent living. Physiotherapy is one way to successfully push physical limitations to secure the Freedom to Function.
Physiotherapy benefits include decreasing pain, improving joint mobility, increasing strength and coordination and improved cardio-respiratory function. Everyone can benefit from physiotherapy whether you are living with a chronic illness, recovering from a work injury or suffering after that weekend hockey game.
Physiotherapy increases your independence and gives you the Freedom to Function™ in your home, workplace or your favorite leisure activity. Physiotherapy offers a range of specialized services of benefit to patients with heart and lung disease, traumatic, workplace and athletic injuries, amputations, arthritic joints, stroke, brain injury, spinal cord and nerve injury, cancer and pre and post surgical needs.
These fact sheets from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association website PhysioCanHelp.ca can help you get mobile and stay mobile.
- Ankle Sprains and treatment
- Hot and Cold Treatment for Sprains and Strains
- Knee Injuries
- Knee Pain Exercises
- Walking Aids
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Foot Pain Exercises
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Preventing Falls
- Running for Beginners
- Juvenile Arthritis
- Are you in Pain
- Back Pain
- Back Pain Exercises
The Value of Physiotherapy
To influence change it is important that statements are supported by evidence-based data. One of the provincial physiotherapy associations, the Ontario Physiotherapy Association or OPA, recently undertook a large literature review that focused on four conditions that have been identified as adding to the mounting health care costs in Ontario and the role that physiotherapy can play: Falls in the Frail Elderly, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)/Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), and Stroke. The research shows that not only does physiotherapy treatment benefit the patient, but it is also a cost-effective measure that can help ensure the sustainability of the health care system.
pt Health therapy services are covered by most extended health insurance companies and in some cases Veterans Affairs and Medicare – such as OHIP (Ontario), Alberta Health Care and Medical Service Plan MSP (British Columbia). Not sure if you’re covered? No problem. We can help you find out (and usually within the hour). Just call us toll free at 1-866-749-7461.
At pt Health we believe your health should come first. We take care of the paperwork so you can focus on getting better, plus we offer direct insurance billing, saving you time and up front costs.
The APA found that exercise as therapy delivers greater benefits if the exercise is intensive and monitored by a health professional and tailored for specific needs.
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2004 conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial of 160 outpatients with acute or subacute low back pain. Patients were randomly allocated to a reference group and an experimental group. The reference group was treated with the “stay-active” concept. The experimental group received manual therapy in addition to the stay-active concept. At baseline, the experimental group had somewhat more pain, a higher disability rating index and more herniated disks than the reference group. Results showed that – after five and 10 weeks – the experimental group had less pain and a lower disability rating index than the reference group.