Physiotherapy, also referred to as physical therapy, involves evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a range of diseases, disorders, and disabilities using physical means. Practiced by physiotherapists or physical therapists, physiotherapy is considered within the realm of conventional medicine. Though physiotherapy is typically practiced by physical therapists, certain tasks may be delegated to trained assistants or other types of health professionals.
Physiotherapy begins with an assessment of the patient's condition. This assessment typically includes a medical history review and a physical examination. Often, the medical history review is considered a subjective examination, while the physical exam is considered objective. Both elements are important to successfully examining and treating the patient. The assessment stage may, in some cases, involve diagnostic tests to better evaluate the patient's condition and develop an effective treatment plan.