What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy as described by World Physiotherapy is a health care profession concerned with human function and movement and maximising physical potential. It is concerned with identifying and maximising quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation and rehabilitation[1]. It uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being, taking into account variations in health status.  It is science-based, committed to extending, applying, evaluating and reviewing the evidence that underpins and informs its practice and delivery.  The exercise of clinical judgement and informed interpretation is at its core[2].


What do physiotherapists do?

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that provides services to people of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. Physiotherapists help people who are recovering from an injury or illness, or who have a long-term health condition, such as arthritis.

Physiotherapists work in hospitals, clinics, community health centres, private practices and people’s homes. They may also work in industrial and sporting settings.

Physiotherapy addresses the illnesses or injuries that limit a person’s abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.[7] Physiotherpists take an individual’s history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies like X-rays, CT-scan, or MRI findings. Electrodiagnostic testing (e.g., electromyograms and nerve conduction velocity testing) may also be used.[8]


What are the benefits of physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy can benefit people of all ages. It helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability.

Physiotherapy can:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Increase mobility
  • Improve quality of life


How can physiotherapy help me?

Physiotherapy is a branch of medicine that deals with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of physical and functional impairments. Physiotherapy can help you by improving your mobility, relieving pain, and preventing or managing injuries.


What conditions can physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy can help a range of conditions, from everyday aches and pains, to more complex long-term conditions. It can also help you prevent injuries from happening in the first place.

Some of the conditions physiotherapy can help with are:

-joint and muscle pain, including back pain and neck pain
-frozen shoulder
-sprains and strains
-headaches caused by muscle tension


How does physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy is a health care profession that provides services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement, function and wellbeing throughout the lifespan. It involves the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.


What can I expect from physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a rehabilitation profession that uses a range of techniques to alleviate pain, promote movement and restore function. The aim of physiotherapy is to help you live your life to the fullest potential.


What will happen during my first visit?

At your first visit, the physiotherapist will take a thorough medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also order tests, including X-rays, MRIs, and blood tests. The physiotherapist will use this information to develop a treatment plan specifically for you.


How often will I need to see a physiotherapist?

This will depend on the severity and nature of your injury or condition. In some cases, you may only need to see a physiotherapist once or twice. In other cases, you may need to see a physiotherapist on a regular basis for several months.


How can I find a physiotherapist?

To practise as a physiotherapist in the UK you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which is the regulatory body for physiotherapists and some other allied health professions (AHPs).

Your GP might refer you via the NHS to see a physiotherapist. Privately you might find a physiotherapist through recommendation or via an internet search for local physiotherapists. Please make sure that you find out if your physiotherapist is fully trained and competent by checking their status on the HCPC register check here

To become registered with the HCPC as a physiotherapist you must meet the HCPC criteria. Physiotherapists need to meet three sets of standards (please see click the links to see each set of standards): Standards of conduct, performance and ethics,  Standards of proficiency for physiotherapists,  Standards of continuing professional development.

Physiotherapists also need to have professional liability insurance (PLI) in order to be registered with the HCPC.

How do I know if a physiotherapist is right for me?

Before you book an appointment with a physiotherapist, it’s important to do your research to make sure they’re the right fit for you.

A good place to start is by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or your primary care doctor. Once you have a few names, you can check their credentials  (please see above re professional registration)

You can also look up reviews online, or contact the physiotherapist directly to ask about their experience and treatment methods. When you meet with them, be sure to ask plenty of questions so that you feel comfortable with their approach.

Once you’ve found a physiotherapist that you trust, they will be able to assess your condition and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.

What should I look for in a physiotherapist?

There are many things to consider when looking for a physiotherapist. Below are some factors you may want to keep in mind:

  • What is the physiotherapist’s education and training?
  • How long has the physiotherapist been in practice?
  • Is the physiotherapist registered with the HCPC?
  • What is the physiotherapist’s approach to treatment?
  • Does the physiotherapist have experience treating patients with conditions similar to yours?
  • Does the physiotherapist use modalities that you are comfortable with?
  • Is the physiotherapist’s office conveniently located and easy to get to?
  • Is the staff friendly and helpful?
  • Do you feel comfortable communicating with the physiotherapist?


What if regular physiotherapy is unable to help me?

If  physiotherapy alone isn’t enough to improve your problem then seeing an advanced practice physiotherapist can be helpful. Usually regular physiotherapists either work with or are aware of specialist physiotherapists with an extended skill set. They are usually referred to as Advanced PracticePphysiotherapists (APPs).

Often times in musculoskeletal physiotherapy they have added skills and competencies. So they may be trained as: Injection therapists, sonographers, or prescribers of medicines. A highly trained Advanced Practice Physiotherapist  might be able to help where regular physiotherapy has stalled and where diagnostic imaging is required as well as potential injection therapy to manage the problem.

Advanced Practice Physiotherapy

Robert Mast who is the owner and clinical director of Sonoscope ultrasound guided injections he is a highly trained Advanced Practice Physiotherapist (APP) and is a (CASE accredited) qualified expert in diagnostic ultrasound as well as an independent prescriber of medicines and an experienced injector. He has worked in the NHS for many years in specialist MSK services managing complex musculoskeletal conditions. He is also employed as a specialist MSK sonographer in a busy NHS radiology performing many diagnostic ultrasound scans and ultrasound guided interventions for those with musculoskeletal injuries and conditions . He is also an experienced educator and runs university based (Brunel University) diagnostic ultrasound as well as ultrasound guided injections programs. Please click Robert Mast to get in touch with  and he will get back to you as soon as possible.

Secondary care specialists

In certain scenarios medical input is required.

For example: an Orthopaedic consultant is needed when Orthopaedic surgery is considered maybe to repair a bone, ligament of tendon or to replace a joint (for example a  hip or knee joint). In case of an inflammatory arthitis is suspected then referral to a rheumatologist would be required.  In case of a neurological problem a neurologist opinion might be necessary etc.