What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a health profession concerned with helping to restore wellness to people following injury, pain or disability.

Physiotherapy is defined by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) as “providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan”.


“This includes providing services in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, pain, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors.  Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy.”

Physiotherapists are experts in movement throughout the lifespan – from birth right through to old age.

If you have trouble with any aspect of body movement, a Physiotherapist has the expertise to find out why. Their training and expert knowledge of how the body works allows them to help people – whether ill, injured, disabled or healthy – to exercise and to regain or improve their function.

Using knowledge from our extensive scientific background of human anatomy and physiology, Physiotherapists can help to:

  • Assess, diagnose and treat injuries and conditions that affect people in all ages and social groups.
  • Assist a patient to prevent injury in the workplace or on the sports field.
  • Promote healthier lifestyles for all
  • Promote public health through research and education

Physiotherapists use mainly physical means such as exercise, manipulation, mobilisation, massage and electrotherapy to help patients achieve their full potential. Your physiotherapist will also offer education and advice in order to ameliorate your condition.

Traditionally, physiotherapy was regarded as rehabilitative and mainly hospital-based, but the profession has always been active in other health care areas.

Physiotherapists have invaluable expertise to offer in educational and preventative roles in the community, the workplace and in private practice.

Because the scope of the physiotherapy profession is so broad and varied, many Physiotherapists choose to specialise in one or two particular fields. However, Chartered Physiotherapists are all dedicated to the same goals:

  • To help people achieve their full potential following injury, pain or disability.
  • To provide a health service that is accessible, effective and humanitarian.
  • To continue to undertake scientific research and training to improve our service.
  • To provide a service that is based on high standards of care and practice