For some, physiotherapy is a mystery. Physiotherapists are not doctors but provide treatment.

But physiotherapy, and the qualified individuals who practice it, is an essential cog in the medical wheel, helping millions of Australians every year recover from serious and minor injuries. The differences are pretty clear when you look at it.

At mhealth, we have been providing physiotherapy expertise to local patients for more than 15 years, and a range of treatments and services, too. A physiotherapist is not just about treating a sore back or sports injury. He is highly trained to ensure the best results for patients. But what exactly is it that they do?

What Do Physiotherapists Do?

Physiotherapists are different from regular doctors. While doctors provide treatment chiefly through drugs, physiotherapy uses techniques that treat functional and physical impairments. These impairments can be caused by:

● Disease

● Injury (from work or sports)

● Environmental factors

● Natural aging
Techniques are designed to promote better movement, better physical development, and to quicken the recovery process after surgery. Since doctors often refer patients, physiotherapists also work closely with family and hospital doctors. They usually work with patients to:

● Improve their lifestyle practices.

● Offer advice on exercise options that maintain health after recovery.

Where It All Started

Physiotherapy is no ‘johnny-come-lately’ health profession. In fact, Hippocrates (the father of western medicine) is believed to have advocated the benefits of massage for physical healing around 2,500 years.

As a profession, physiotherapists have become more prevalent since the 18th century. Today, physiotherapy is an essential part of any health service. According to the Physiotherapy Board of Australia, there are more than 26,000 registered physiotherapists in Australia, working in hospitals, community health clinics and private practices.


Physiotherapy Timeline:

● 1813 – Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics was founded in Sweden by Petr Henrik Ling

● 1887 – Physiotherapists registered on Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare

● 1894 – Chartered Society of Physiotherapy was founded in England

● 1906 – Australian Physiotherapy Association was founded

● 1913 – School of Physiotherapy founded at the University of Otago, New Zealand

● 1916 – Polio outbreak brought effectiveness of physiotherapy to the world’s attention

● 1921 – First physiotherapy research paper published in US PT Review

● 1974 – International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists was founded


Conditions Physiotherapy Can Treat

As we mentioned, physiotherapy is more than massaging a bad back or helping athletes recover from injuries. A host of conditions are treated by physiotherapists easing pain and promoting recovery. But these conditions can be broken down into 4 specialist categories.


1. Cardiovascular. This category includes conditions like:

● Chronic heart disease

● Heart attacks

● Rehabilitation from related surgeries, like coronary bypasses.


2. Neuromusculoskeletal – Relates to conditions like:

● Back pain

● Joint pain

● Whiplash

● Piriformis Syndrome

● Arthritis

● Chronic muscle pain


3. Respiratory – this classification concerns conditions like:

● Chronic bronchitis

● Pulmonary fibrosis emphysema

● Asthma

● Cystic fibrosis


4. Neurological – related to conditions like:

● Strokes

● Parkinson’s disease

● Charcot-Maries-Tooth disease (CMT)

● Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

● Multiple sclerosis (MS)

● Facial and cerebral palsy


What mhealth Offers You

At mhealth, our fully qualified and experienced physiotherapists are dedicated to providing the highest standards of treatment. But we also believe that a healthy and active life is just as important. This is why our rehabilitation programmes are geared to:

● Injury prevention

● Physical conditioning

● Lifestyle fitness


For more on what we do, and how our diverse team of health professionals can help you, contact us via our website, or call us at (03) 8585 2222.