By Tracey-Lee Du Plessis

So, what does a Physiotherapist actually do?

Bet you all think we give a mean massage and wear our torture badge with pride…right? Wrong!

OK yes, I admit we do forms of massage, and it can be torturous to the other person receiving it…but we do so much more then a little “rub” of the shoulders.

So, what do you need to be a physiotherapist?

A whole lot of patience, empathy and understanding with great listening skills. These talents go a long way. Let’s not forget a whole lot of grey matter too…yup you need get an honours degree which takes 4 years of hard work and dedication in order to get the best qualification.

So, try understand our frustration when someone you meet asks you “So what do you do?” We say proudly “I’m a physiotherapist” and the response 98% of the time is ” Oh cool, ja flip I could do with a massage of my shoulders “. Cool Bru (que roll eyes).

Physios assess, treat and manage a variety of patients in diverse settings. We work with patients to help them manage pain, balance, mobility, and motor function. So it’s a little more than just a massage! It takes great skill to help patients with the variety of conditions they may have.

Physiotherapists can work within in a hospital, care centers, home visits outpatient rooms, schools for both able and disabled children, the sports field and the workplace (ergonomics).

We manage a variety of people, conditions within a diverse management style to name a few:

– Postural rehabilitation

– Headaches

– Lower back pain

– TMJ conditions

– Hand therapy

– Scar management

– Burns

– Dry needling

– Chest infections both in children and adults

– Geriatrics

– Orthopedics pre and post surgery

– Sports rehabilitation and injuries

– Neuro rehabilitation in adults and children

– Paediatircs a diverse range of diagnoses

– Chronic pain

– Thoracic and cardiac complications pre or post surgery

– Hydrotherapy

– Woman and pelvic health

– Neonatal intensive care management

– Strapping

– Muscle activation

These are just a few I can think of but there are more. We give value to our patients lives and in turn get the best reward in doing so.

We love what we do and who we treat so next time be a tad kinder or more mindful on the ” torturous badge” you give us.