Physiotherapy, also called physical therapy, is an allied health profession in which the practitioner uses clinical exercise, physical examination, diagnostic imaging, health promotion, therapeutic exercise, and pharmacologic therapy to treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Common disorders treated by physiotherapy include chronic pain, myofascial pain, injured muscles, sprains, strains, tennis elbow, whiplash, shoulder pain, hip problems, low back pain, fractures, osteoporosis, and pregnancy. Physiotherapy can also be used to rehabilitate an injured body part or enhance the function of a body part that has been affected by injury or disease. Physiotherapists should acquire a university degree in the sciences and have at least three years experience in physiotherapy. They should also be certified by the American Physiological Society. Grande Prairie physiotherapy is one of the authority sites on this topic.
The continuing education requirement for physiotherapists is increased as studies become more sophisticated. The APS requirements for certification are changing in order to recognize and validate continuing education credits. Today, a physiotherapy student should pass at least one year of CEs in sports medicine, human anatomy, nutrition, and medical history, before proceeding to the “E” level of continuing education. Students should also complete two years of specialized practice in a field of practice identified by the American Physician’s Association and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Exercise.
There are currently no governmental regulations limiting professional responsibilities for physiotherapists. In most states, both professional and occupational therapists are covered by insurance policies that usually provide coverage for hospital stays, occupational therapy, surgery, and specialized procedures like physical therapy and rehabilitation. Some insurance companies may require specific types of referrals, such as those associated with cancer or orthopedic surgery. A few states have begun to implement plans to help cover the costs of rehabilitation and physiotherapy.