Physical therapy or physiotherapy aims at helping patients maintain, recover or improve their physical abilities. Physiotherapy means the treatment of any pain, disease, or injury by physical means.
Physiotherapists use their training and skills to treat a wide range of physical problems linked to different systems in the body, including:
- Musculoskeletal systems - an organ system that gives us the ability to move using our muscles and bones (muscular and skeletal systems). The musculoskeletal system gives us form, movement and stability. The musculoskeletal system includes our bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissue.
- Respiratory systems - include organs that are involved in breathing, such as the lungs, bronchi, trachea, larynx, throat, and nose.
- Neuromuscular systems - concerned with both nerves and muscles. Nerves include the brain, spine and nerves throughout the body. Neuromuscular refers to neuromuscular junction - where nerves and muscle fibers meet, and also includes neuromuscular transmission - the transfer of information, impulses, from the nerve to the muscle.
- Cardiovascular systems - include the heart and the circulatory systems. The circulatory system carries nutrients and oxygen via blood vessels to the tissues of the body and removes waste and carbon dioxide from them.