As primary health care professionals, physiotherapists combine in-depth knowledge of how the body works with specialized hands on clinical skills to assess, establish clinical impression and treat symptoms of illness, injury or disability and ultimately restore strength, movement, function, independence and well being.
Your physiotherapist will begin with an extensive assessment of your primary concerns, health history, symptoms, strength, flexibility, movement patterns, posture, and activity levels.
From this information your physiotherapist will establish a clinical impression and prognosis and in partnership with you, develop goals and an individualized treatment plan.
A treatment plan may include education, therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, or modalities.
- Education of: the condition, its prognosis, treatment options, prevention of further injury; or in cases of permanent conditions, compensatory strategies for coping with the symptoms.
- Therapeutic exercise and manual therapy for: prevention, strengthening, increasing range of motion, improving posture or balance, pain relief, and maximizing function and well being.
- Modalities may include: heat, ice, or electrical stimulation with TENS or Functional Electrical Stimulation. There may also be recommendations for orthopedic devices.
Exercises prescribed may be done at home, in a gym, or at a pool, depending on what environment suits your lifestyle and needs. * It is important to follow through with these exercises in order for results to occur.
Examples of Conditions treated:
- Neck and Back pain
- Overuse injuries
- Traumatic injuries (car accidents, falls)
- Post stroke and acquired brain injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Effects of aging or general debility
- Balance problems
- Fitness and wellness
Physiotherapists have a university degree at a Bachelor’s level, (more recent graduates have a Masters degree). Areas studied include biology, physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, pathology and pharmacology. They also study the social sciences, learning and education.
In order to practice in Saskatchewan a physiotherapist must be registered with the Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists. Only those registered may use the professional designation of "PT", "Physiotherapist" or "Physical Therapist".
Physiotherapy is covered by most extended health-care plans. Some plans ask you to first receive a physician's referral. You otherwise do not need a physicians referral to see a physiotherapist.
It is important that your Physiotherapist:
- Obtain your consent before assessment and treatment
- Explain what they are doing
- Answer your questions
- Refer you to another care provider if they cannot help you or co-manage with other health care providers.