Role Of A Physiotherapist: Diary Of A Pragmatic Physiotherapist

Published on: 2018/07/27

Dr.Sheik Abdul Khadir (PT), Physiotherapist, AIIPMR, Mumbai, India

Dr. Purnima Shrivatsava (PT), Physiotherapist, District Hospital, Bilaspur, India


Rapid technological advances, well-informed patients, fierce competition among healthcare providers
and the dramatic increase in average life expectancy is ushering in a new era in healthcare.

Being at the forefront of promoting,  developing, maintaining and restoring people’s maximum movement and functional ability, a physiotherapist has attained a remarkable and irreplaceable stature in the healthcare arena.

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Role of a physiotherapist, physiotherapy

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Role of a physiotherapist

In the healthcare industry, the role of physiotherapists has grown manifold for the recovery of patients with injuries, illness, surgery. Physiotherapist plays a pivotal role in managing paediatric conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. Also, with an increasing population of senior people, geriatric rehabilitation and management depend largely on physical therapists’ services.

A physiotherapist helps patients recover from difficulties due to an injury, illness or disability. A physiotherapist comes up with a course of treatment using massage or electric therapy and exercises. He/ she should also be in a position to assess the physical and emotional aspects of the patient before devising the treatment plan.

What are the responsibilities of physiotherapists?

A physiotherapist can specialize in different areas like pediatric, sports medicine, and women’s health. With respect to these areas of practice, a physiotherapist has to deal with patients with:

Neurological conditions: Treatments with disorders due to strokes, spine injuries, brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Cardiovascular and respiratory: Treatments associated with asthma, cardio-respiratory disorders, bronchitis, etc

Neuromusculoskeletal conditions: Treatments for sprains, neck pain, back pain, arthritis, injuries due to occupational hazards, posture correction, post-surgery rehabilitation, etc.

Important skills required for a successful physiotherapist

Along with treating these conditions, he should use clinical reasoning skills to diagnose the condition, develop and review the treatment program. He should also provide counseling to the caretakers and encourage patients to exercise and improve their mobility.

A physiotherapist should also coordinate with other healthcare professionals in order to record the progress in other areas which are dependent for the recovery of the patient.

Technological advancement and increased responsibility

With rapid advancement in technologies, the responsibility with respect to the patient outcomes has also increased. This calls for regular updation of knowledge. A physiotherapist has to keep himself updated with the latest technologies to provide better results. The clinical advancements and patient awareness have also increased the responsibilities of the physiotherapists.

As the role of a physiotherapist is crucial, while delivering physiotherapy services, a physiotherapist needs to understand a lot of aspects. Dr. Sheik Abdul and Dr. Purnima Srivastava discuss the key points in this article. Some of which are:

  • Importance of assessment without which the evaluation become incomplete
  • Radiological findings and clinical findings
  • Importance of patient education
  • Medical diagnosis vs physical diagnosis
  • Ergonomic advice for patients
  • Isometrics and its importance
  • Importance of treating the patients holistically
  • Deep understanding of the concepts
  • Using evidence-based practice

Read the full text – The Diary of a pragmatic physiotherapist to know more