Physiotherapy (also Physical Therapy as referred to by the WCPT) 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. 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.
"Physiotherapists assess, plan and implement rehabilitative programs that improve or restore human motor functions, maximize movement ability, relieve pain syndromes, and treat or prevent physical challenges associated with injuries, diseases and other impairments. They apply a broad range of physical therapies and techniques such as movement, ultrasound, heating, laser and other techniques. They may develop and implement programmes for screening and prevention of common physical ailments and disorders"
According to International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) code Physiotherapy is classified into a separate entity and not clubbed with Paramedical services.
Physiotherapists and Physical Therapists (PTs) work within a wide variety of health settings to improve a broad range of physical problems associated with different 'systems' of the body. In particular they treat neuromuscular (brain and nervous system), musculoskeletal (softtissues, joints and bones), cardiovascular and respiratory systems (heart and lungs and associated physiology).
Physiotherapists work autonomously, often as a member of a team with other health or social care professionals. Physiotherapy practice is characterised by reflective behaviour and systematic clinical reasoning, both contributing to and underpinning a problem-solving approach to patient-centric care.