We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Physiotherapy?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PracticalAdultInsights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Physiotherapy, also referred to as physical therapy, involves evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a range of diseases, disorders, and disabilities using physical means. Practiced by physiotherapists or physical therapists, it is considered within the realm of conventional medicine. Methods for diagnosis can vary, depending on the situation, though physical examinations and testing are often employed for evaluation. Treatments can include a wide range of practices, including massage, applications of heat or electricity, and assistance with using mobility devices such as walkers and crutches.


Many specialists begin physiotherapy with an assessment of the patient's condition. This typically includes a review of a patient's medical history and a physical examination. Physiotherapists often consider the medical history review a subjective examination, since the patient's opinions or past experiences may influence it. They consider the physical examination, however, to be more objective, as observable and verified symptoms are the primary concern. The assessment stage may, in some cases, involve diagnostic tests to better evaluate the patient's condition and develop an effective treatment plan.


Once testing is complete, then physiotherapists look at the results to determine the problems facing their patients. This can range from fairly minor issues, such as pulled or damaged muscles, to severe injuries or nerve damage that causes pain and lack of mobility. Other specialists may be consulted in physiotherapy to determine the best, comprehensive course of action for a patient, though this depends on the situation.


Treatment is guided by the findings of the assessment. Based on the unique needs of the patient, physical therapists may employ various physiotherapeutic treatment options. Such methods can include musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary or "skin-based" physiotherapy techniques. Physiotherapeutic treatment methods are constantly evolving as the field grows.

Common forms of treatment can include massage and the use of heat or cold to relax and help heal muscles. Mild electric shocks can also be used to stimulate muscles, which can help in recovery for some individuals. Recovery from accidents or surgery can require very restrained forms of treatment, to ensure further damage is not caused; physiotherapy often relies on patience while waiting for muscles and bones to recover.

Additional Treatments and Methods

In addition to the physiotherapeutic methods used in treatment, physical therapists often provide patients with guidance for using things like walking devices and mobility aids. This can include helping someone learn to use a wheelchair or adapt to the loss of limbs or paralysis during recovery. Good physical therapists work hard to help patients stay informed about their particular conditions and required treatments. Patient education is often a element key in the success of physiotherapy.

Becoming a Physiotherapist

To become a physical therapist in the US and many other countries, an individual must first obtain a graduate degree from an accredited physiotherapy program. Many educational institutions offer programs leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. There are also programs that students can utilize to pursue a particular specialization within the industry, such as sports therapy or geriatric care. Upon completing a degree, graduates typically take national licensure examinations.

Physiotherapy stands as a vital healthcare service that aids individuals in recovering from injuries, managing chronic conditions, and improving overall physical function. Through a combination of exercises, manual therapy, and education, patients are empowered to achieve their mobility goals and enhance their quality of life. For those seeking to complement their recovery with nutritional support, incorporating the best greens supplement into their diet can provide essential vitamins and minerals, potentially accelerating the healing process. Embracing both physiotherapy and proper nutrition can be a formidable strategy in the journey toward optimal health.

PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a PracticalAdultInsights writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By anon332918 — On May 02, 2013

My brother is suffering from severe neck pain and had pain and numbness in the left hand. Can anyone suggest better treatment for these complaints?

By anon309856 — On Dec 19, 2012

In reply to many of the comments on here: A bachelor degree in Physiotherapy is a great place to start with your career in Physiotherapy. You would need 3 A-Levels in grade C or above to get onto a respected BSc Physiotherapy Degree course. This degree can then lead on to a Masters Degree in Physiotherapy (if you wish) which would generally last a year and many graduates find this is what pushes them closer to their dream of becoming a physiotherapist. However, a Masters degree is not essential, and some will graduate from their bachelor degrees and then head straight into employment.

By anon288840 — On Aug 31, 2012

Physiotherapy is considered as an important course that is concerned primarily with the social well being of the individuals, mainly focusing on injuries, impairment, human movements and rehabilitating the patients with other related diseases or conditions.

By anon276300 — On Jun 23, 2012

I have a diploma in physiotherapy and many years in ICU working. Which schools can you recommend to an undergraduate to get masters in cardiovascular and respiratory physiotherapy?

By anon275749 — On Jun 20, 2012

After I complete my study in B.P.T, are government jobs in a hospital available?

By anon270466 — On May 22, 2012

I am a physio and I treated a patient three days ago with severe pain in his lower back and his right leg. The patient could not walk at all.

My Rx was heat and electric and positioning for two days, but there has been no improvement at all. Help?

By anon244219 — On Jan 31, 2012

Do we need a license to practice as a kinesthesiologist in the USA.

By anon224468 — On Oct 23, 2011

I was attacked by a hard cold at my left shoulder and back which caused a severe pain in the nerves of all my left shoulder and neck.

I went to the doctor, who prescribed me antidolorants also for the pain of the nerves. This was a week ago, but I still feel the pain and sometimes I can't sleep well at night from the pain! What would you recommend I do in such a case? Thanks for any advice. --M.M

By anon199294 — On Jul 23, 2011

i had a bayik accident one year ago and it caused a serious foot and ankle injury. now i have difficulty in moving my foot and i can't walk, run or place the foot smoothly.

By arzu — On Mar 29, 2011

I have been suffering from neck and waist pain and it make me feel feverish. I consulted with my physician and have been prescribed therapy. Is there any future side affect if I undergo this treatment? Please let me know.

By anon154758 — On Feb 22, 2011

i want to know how much i have to score in my 12th std to choose a physiotherapy course?

By anon83657 — On May 12, 2010

i want to know the best physiotherapist institutes for learning and for practice in the whole world?

By anon75972 — On Apr 08, 2010

where can i get an outstanding degree in physiotherapy in india?

By anon75583 — On Apr 07, 2010

what is the procedure to get in and from which field we should be. And is this right option to opt for?

By anon68543 — On Mar 03, 2010

i have been having a persisting and painful ache on my chest and my spinal cord. i want to know if i have to see a physiotherapist.

By anon66317 — On Feb 19, 2010

me too. i would like to know which subjects must i do at high school level to gain entry to this field?

By anon64099 — On Feb 05, 2010

what subjects will i need if i want to join physiotherapy?

By anon64096 — On Feb 05, 2010

what schools can you recommend to an undergraduate to get a masters in physiotherapy?

By anon52594 — On Nov 15, 2009

depends on what area you live in. subjects: cardiorespiratory, neuro, musculoskeletal, biomedical are the core subjects for about two years. plus about two more years of more focused subjects. not sure bout the last one but i don't think so. a physio doesn't just massage. they use a range of techniques to ultra sound, dry needling, etc., not just massage, so you need to have an understanding of those, and an assistant would need to know how to tape joints and understand exercise prescription and so on.

By anon48821 — On Oct 15, 2009

What schools can you recommend to an undergraduate to get a masters in physiotherapy?

By anon40955 — On Aug 11, 2009

what subject will i need to learn if i want to join physiotherapy?

By anon18561 — On Sep 25, 2008

if you have a license in massage therapy could you be an assistant physical therapist?

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a PracticalAdultInsights writer, where she focuses on topics...
Read more
PracticalAdultInsights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PracticalAdultInsights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.