What is Physiotherapy
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association defines physiotherapy as follows.
“Physiotherapy is a primary care, autonomous, client-focused health profession dedicated to improving quality of life by:
- Promoting optimal mobility, physical activity and overall health and wellness;
- Preventing disease, injury, and disability;
- Managing acute and chronic conditions, activity limitations, and participation restrictions;
- Improving and maintaining optimal functional independence and physical performance;
- Rehabilitating injury and the effects of disease or disability with therapeutic exercise programs and other interventions; and
- Educating and planning maintenance and support programs to prevent re-occurrence, re-injury or functional decline.
Physiotherapy is anchored in movement sciences and aims to enhance or restore function of multiple body systems. The profession is committed to health, lifestyle and quality of life. This holistic approach incorporates a broad range of physical and physiological therapeutic interventions and aids.”
Orthopaedic Physiotherapists are primarily concerned with the neuromusculoskeletal system based on the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health – WHO – ICF Model, including bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. They also assist with rehabilitation and recovery following an accident, surgery or other procedure.
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) is responsible for advancing the profession of physiotherapy in Canada, in order to improve the health of Canadians. The Orthopaedic Division of the CPA provides education, resources, and networking opportunities to help orthopaedic physiotherapists, including new graduates and students, stay informed on the latest research and best practices to improve their skills and service delivery.
Who are Physiotherapists
There are over 20,000 registered physiotherapists in Canada, working in private clinics, general and rehabilitation hospitals, community health centres, residential care and assisted-living facilities, home visit agencies, workplaces, and schools. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association describes physiotherapy as:
“The heart of the physiotherapy profession… is understanding how and why movement and function take place. Physiotherapists are highly skilled and autonomous health professionals who provide safe, quality client-centred physiotherapy through a commitment to service availability, accessibility and excellence.”
Physiotherapist is a protected title in Canada. All physiotherapists must meet national entry-level education and practice standards and pass a standardized competence examination prior to being fully licensed with the College of Physiotherapists in their province or territory to ensure they are qualified to provide focused and evidence-informed assessment and treatments.