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What does the physiotherapist do?
The physiotherapist is an expert in movement and function, so he is not limited to just treating sick people. Much of a physical therapist's program is aimed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery. Physiotherapists work as consultants in industrial settings to improve workplace design and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing lower back pain. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and establish preventative exercise programs.
The cornerstones of Physiotherapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to "hands-on" assistance, physiotherapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and perform certain exercises on their own. Depending on a patient's particular needs, physiotherapists can also "mobilize" a joint (ie perform certain types of movements at the end of one's range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote movement and correct function. Physiotherapists also use methods such as ultrasound (high-frequency waves to produce heat), hot packs, and ice.