Physiotherapy is a leading, evidence based health care profession that treats a variety of injuries and illnesses and improves your overall health and wellbeing. Physiotherapists or physical therapists, are primary healthcare providers, meaning they are able to assess and treat a person without the need for a referral. They are a regulated profession under the health professions act and the use of the term physiotherapist and physical therapist are protected titles under BC law.
Physiotherapists are your partner in evaluating and restoring strength, endurance, movement and physical abilities affected by injury, disease, or disability. A physiotherapist works closely with your physician to help you manage and prevent many physical problems caused by sport, illness, disease, work, aging, and long periods of inactivity.
Physiotherapy in Canada is a university Masters program requiring a minimum of six years of university training before being able to practice as a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists then continue with post graduate studies in a number of different fields that allow a physiotherapist to advance their expertise in a number of different areas. Some of these areas include:
Sprains, strains, tears, and overuse injuries are a common plague in all sports. Physiotherapy treatment includes education, sport specific exercises, taping, electrotherapy, and manual therapy, to ensure the professional and casual athlete can get back in the game as soon as possible, without risking further injury.
The most problems seen here are low back pain, neck, knee and shoulder injuries. This specialty treats any muscle, tendon, ligament, joint or nerve problems. An orthopaedic or manual therapist can help reduce pain and restore strength and function.
Prehab is a proactive approach to avoiding future problems later down the road. Your physiotherapist will perform a biomechanical assessment to determine what may be a risk factor for future injuries. Treatment involves building strength and stability around certain areas, whilst improving mobility, balance and joint function to decrease the potential for injuries.
Specially trained physiotherapists assist in recovery from hand injury or disease using exercise, manual therapy, and splinting techniques to promote optimal hand function.
Physiotherapists help people with arthritis, heart disease, stroke, or problems getting around by helping joints stay flexible, improving balance, preventing falls and helping manage pain and chronic conditions.
Physiotherapists play a vital role in diagnosing and treating orthopaedic, neurological and respiratory conditions that can impact childhood development such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and developmental delays.
Physiotherapists can prescribe exercise programs to keep you fit before the birth of your child and get you back in shape afterwards. Low back and pelvic pain is a common complaint during pregnancy. There are a number of ways that you can reduce the pain and this can include; manual therapy, specific exercises, massage, TENS and bracing. You can also get more specific advice on the most appropriate exercises to strengthen your back and pelvic floor.
Stroke, spinal cord and brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's and other nervous system conditions all respond to specialized techniques which help people re-learn motor skills and improve movement control, strength and function.
Many physiotherapists have specialized training in treating bladder and bowel control. They help people with incontinence and pelvic pain or who have had prostate surgery to regain a healthy and active lifestyle. Muscle re-education and stimulation, biofeedback and bladder habit re-training alleviate incontinence, pelvic pain, prostrate post surgical conditions.
Physiotherapists with this training assess and treat a variety of dizziness and balance problems, the most common of these being vertigo due to inner ear crystal displacement known as BPPV (benign paroxysmal postural vertigo).