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What is Physiotherapy

  • Physiotherapy

    • Physiotherapy is a clinical health science and profession that aims to rehabilitate and improve people with movement disorders by using evidence-based, natural methods such as exercise, motivation, adapted equipment, education and advocacy.
    • Physiotherapists study medical science subjects such as anatomy, neuroscience and physiology to develop skills and attitudes necessary for health education and prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with physical disorders and disabilities.
    • The physiotherapist works in health care systems in both hospitals and the community
    • All physiotherapists in Australia are required to be registered by law. Registration as a physiotherapist is only possible after completion of a university degree in physiotherapy or health sciences with a physiotherapy course
    • Physiotherapists, who are known as physical therapists in America, work all around the world. They are the experts in the examination and treatment of musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and cardiothoracic problems that affect peoples' abilities to move the way they want and function as well as they want in their daily lives



    Physiotherapists are often referred to as 'movement specialists'. They are trained to assess and treat a variety of conditions that affect the physical function of adults and children .  Physiotherapists who are trained particularly to work with children and adolescents are Paediatric Physiotherapists.

    Paediatric physiotherapists have the particular qualities and skills required to assess, motivate and care for children. They work closely with those who care for children including families, teachers, doctors and other health professionals.

    The Department of Physiotherapy provides clinical services to children and adolescents in the 0 - 18 age group from across Australia, as well as children from developing countries in Asia and the Pacific.


    Physiotherapists will

    • Assess the child's problem.
    • Devise a special program to suit each child's needs. The program may involve the use of balance, strength and co-ordination activities, toys, games or other special equipment.
    • Monitor the child's progress and alter the program as the child improves, develops and grows.
    • Help the family understand the child's problem and teach parents or carers the skills to develop the child's ability to perform everyday tasks.
    • Give advice regarding footwear or prescription of equipment to improve the child's skills and function.
    • Work in conjunction with other health professionals to meet all the child's needs in a thorough and comprehensive way.
    • Refer the child to other health professionals within the hospital when appropriate.
    • Ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home and return to crèche, kinder or school, in conjunction with the child, family, health care workers and teachers.
    • Consult with the child's local physiotherapist in the metropolitan or rural community.


    Where do RCH physiotherapists work?

    RCH Physiotherapists work in the wards, clinics, outpatients and specialist units.

    They also work in the community:


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