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What do Physiotherapists do?

Physiotherapy is a primary care, autonomous, client-focused health profession dedicated to:

  • Improving and maintaining physical mobility and independence

  • Preventing, managing and reducing pain, physical limitations or disabilities that may limit clients activities

  • Improving overall fitness, health and well-being.

Physiotherapy’s unique contribution to health care stems from its advanced understanding of how the body moves, what keeps it from moving well and how to restore mobility.
Physiotherapists assess the client's level of mobility, strength, endurance and other physical abilities to determine the impact of their injury on their physical function, whether at work, rest or play. They diagnose the condition and develop a treatment plan to restore movement and reduce pain or limitations to mobility.  Physiotherapists also advise clients on how to manage their condition independently and how to avoid recurrences or complications. Primarily, they work in 3 practice areas: orthopaedics, neurology and cardiorespiratory. The following are examples of the types of conditions physiotherapists may treat:



  • Back and neck pain

  • Sports injuries

  • Repetitive strain injuries (i.e.: carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow)

  • Motor vehicle accidents           

  • Post-surgical rehabilitation (i.e.: hip or knee replacement, rotator cuff)  

  • Work Injuries    

Canadian Physiotherapy Association


  • Asthma

  • Chronic obstructive lung disease

  • Pneumonia

  • Post-surgical rehabilitation (i.e.: cardiac, thoracic or abdominal)

  • Cardiac rehabilitation

  • Cystic Fibrosis


  • Stroke

  • Spinal cord injury

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Head injuries

  • Parkinson's

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Concussions

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