The Physiotherapist clinic

What does the physiotherapist do?


Physiotherapy is a type of medical treatment that helps a person move his or her body.

You might wonder why anyone would need help moving. But if you’ve ever had a broken bone or a bad injury, you know how hard it can be to do normal things, like walking or throwing a ball.  Physiotherapy helps people who have been injured, or who have a physical disability such as cerebral palsy, so they can move their bodies better.

Physiotherapists are health professionals who know a lot about how the body moves and how to improve movement. They treat people as young as little babies and as old as great-grandparents.  Someone might go to one physiotherapy session or many sessions over months or years. During the sessions, the physiotherapists teaches the person exercises and special stretches. This therapy can strengthen weak muscles and show the person new ways of getting around.

N0023708 Physiotherapist assessing jointsWhen kids go to physiotherapy
A broken leg is a good example of why a kid might go to physiotherapy. Before leaving the hospital, the physiotherapist would teach the kid how to walk with crutches and how to go up and down stairs. Therapists know the best way to hold onto crutches and teach kids how much weight they can put on the broken leg.

While learning to walk with crutches, a kid might wear a safety belt so he or she doesn’t fall down or stumble while practicing. The PT also teaches the child’s parents about using crutches safely on flat surfaces and stairs. It’s important for the kid to wear good supportive shoes, like sneakers, when using crutches.

Another kind of therapy called occupational therapy can also be helpful. Occupational therapy helps an injured or disabled person learn how to do daily tasks, such as getting dressed or brushing teeth.

Some people say a physiotherapists will get you where you are going, but an occupational therapist helps you out when you get there.


> Visit Professor Hallux’s Map of Medicine homepage
> Download the free Map of Medicine podcast from iTunes

Images courtesy of the Wellcome Trust