#AltMeds: Physiotherapy

Curious about alternative therapies? You’re not alone! It’s a vast world of drug-free health practice and can be confusing at the best of times.

As with any professional, it's important to see the right person for the right job. You wouldn't go to a hairdresser for a toothache (!) so it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the vast range of practitioners out there.

As a GP, I am frequently asked about what a Physiotherapist does. Read on to learn more about Physiotherapy and how it could potentially help you.

 

What Is Physiotherapy?

Originating in Ancient Greece with massage techniques and hydrotherapy, today physiotherapy utilises non-surgical procedures to lessen pain, improve movement and restore functionality to the musculoskeletal system.

Physiotherapists assess, treat and prevent disorders caused by injury or disease. They conduct examinations of patients and work towards alleviating any impairments and limitations.

A typical session with a physiotherapist is unique to a patient’s needs and their health condition. Physiotherapists will also educate their patients to prevent further injuries, or assist them to live with ongoing conditions.

 

Qualifications & Education

According to the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Physiotherapy courses vary across the country and entry may be through a bachelor, masters or professional doctorate program.

Physiotherapists are required by law to be registered with the Physiotherapists Registration Board in the state or territory in which they are practising.

 

Who Should See A Physiotherapist?

All Australians can benefit from physiotherapy at some point in their lives. While it is well-known that physiotherapists treat injuries, increasing numbers of Australians are coming to physiotherapists when they want to take control of their health and stay well.

Physiotherapists work closely with GPs and other health clinicians to plan and manage treatment. Indeed, GPs refer more patients to physiotherapists than any other healthcare profession.

As far as alternative therapies go, I refer my patients to Physotherapists as they back up what they do with both diagnostic imaging and scientific evidence. Important!

Make sure you shop around for the right practitioner and chat to your GP about whether physiotherapy is the right treatment for your symptoms.