What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. It can also help to reduce your risk of injury or illness in the future. It takes a holistic approach that involves the patient directly in their own care.
Physiotherapy is provided by specially trained and regulated practitioners called physiotherapists.
Physiotherapists often work as part of a multidisciplinary team in various areas of medicine and settings, including:
- Community health centres or clicnics
- Some GP surgeries
- Some sports teams, clubs, charities and workplaces
When is Physiotherapy Used?
Physiotherapy can be helpful for people of all ages with a wide range of health conditions, including problems affecting the:
- Bones, joints and soft tissue – such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and sports injuries
- Brain or nervous system – such as movement problems resulting from a stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson’s disease
- Heart and circulation – such as rehabilitation after a heart attack
- Lungs and breathing – such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis
What Do Physiotherapists Do?
Physiotherapists consider the body as a whole, rather than just focusing on the individual aspects of an injury or illness.
Some of the main approaches used by physiotherapists include:
- Education and advice – physiotherapists can give general advice about things that can affect your daily lives, such as posture and correct lifting or carrying techniques to help prevent injuries
- Movement, tailored exercise and physical activity advice – exercises may be recommended to improve your general health and mobility, and to strengthen specific parts of your body
- Manual therapy – where the physiotherapist uses their hands to help relieve pain and stiffness, and to encourage better movement of the body
There are other techniques that may sometimes be used, such as exercises carried out in water (hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy) or acupuncture.
Physiotherapists in Gibraltar can also work in the private sector. If you decide to see a private physiotherapist, make sure they are a fully qualified member of a recognised professional body, such as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).
‘Physiotherapy’ is a protected title and all physiotherapists must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Being registered with the HCPC means your practitioner is working within defined professional standards.
To find out if a physiotherapist is registered with the HCPC you can search https://www.hcpc-uk.org/check-the-register/