Also called physical therapy, physiotherapy is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialty that remediates impairments and promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention (therapy using mechanical force and movements). It is carried out by physical therapists
, known as physiotherapists
in most countries.
Physical therapy involves the illnesses or injuries that limit a person's abilities to move and perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily lives.
Physiotherapists use an individual's history and a physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies such as X-rays, CT-scan, or MRI findings. Electrodiagnostic testing (e.g., electromyograms and nerve conduction velocity testing) may also be of assistance.
Management commonly includes prescription of, or assistance with:
- specific exercises
- manual therapy and manipulation
- mechanical devices, such as traction
- physical agents including heat, cold, electricity, sound waves, radiation
- the prescription of assistive devices, prostheses, orthoses, and other interventions
In addition, physiotherapists work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles; and providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain, and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing therapeutic treatment in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease, or environmental factors.
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Accessed on June 14, 2016.