What is physio?
Physiotherapists help improve quality of life
Physiotherapists help you get the most out of life. They help you recover from injury, reduce pain and stiffness, increase mobility and prevent further injury. They listen to your needs to tailor a treatment specific to your condition. As first contact practitioners, you don’t need a doctor's referral to see a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists, doctors, and other health professionals will often work as part of a team to plan and manage treatment for a specific condition.
What sort of treatment do physiotherapists use?
Physiotherapists are trained to assess your condition, diagnose the problem, and help you understand what’s wrong. Your treatment plan will take into account your lifestyle, activities and general health.
The following are common treatment methods use by physiotherapists:
- exercise programs to improve mobility and strengthen muscles
- joint manipulation and mobilisation to reduce pain and stiffness
- muscle re-education to improve control
- airway clearance techniques and breathing exercises
- soft tissue mobilisation (massage)
- acupuncture and dry needling
- assistance with use of aids, splints, crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs to help you move around.
What are the different types of physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is more than just musculoskeletal support. Physiotherapists extend their care to chronic health impacts, like heart disease and diabetes, and lesser-known pelvic floor issues. They’re experts in helping to reduce the alarmingly common health and safety issues associated with working in labour intensive industries, preventing injury as well as getting people back to work quickly and safely.
Here are some of the different areas of physiotherapy:
- acupuncture and dry needling
- cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema
- emergency department
- mental health
- occupational health
- physiotherapy for animals, often working with vets
- women’s, men’s and pelvic health
Where do physiotherapists work?
Physiotherapists work in all sectors of healthcare, including public hospitals, private practice, rehabilitation centres, sporting clubs and community health centres.
What qualifications are required to practice as a physiotherapist?
Physiotherapists listed within this website’s Find a Physio are all members of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA). Practising members of the APA must be registered with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia (PhysioBA) and abide by their code of conduct. An APA member also upholds the APA code of conduct, which complements the PhysioBA code of conduct. Around 17,000 practicing physiotherapists are members of the APA.
Entry to practise physiotherapy may be through a bachelor, masters or professional doctorate program that is approved by the Physiotherapy Board of Australia for the purposes of registration. To register, and then maintain their annual registration, physiotherapists must meet professional standards such as recent practice, continuing professional education, criminal history checks and work in accordance with the Board's Code of Conduct. Physiotherapists must also be covered by professional indemnity insurance while practicing.