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Physiotherapy aims to encourage and support your return to normal after illness, surgery, disease or trauma. It is often described as rehabilitation. So whether your problem is a sprained ankle, back pain, a stroke, chest problems, women's health, injury at work or one of many other conditions, there is likely to be a specialist physiotherapist to help you.

What do Physiotherapists do?  

They are involved in a vast range of care and common treatments including:

  • Spinal problems including prolapse disc, degeneration, sciatica, lumbago, stiff/painful neck and referred arm and leg pains. 
  • Joint problems - arthritis, injury, pain and swelling, stiffness in joints
  • Injuries - to muscles ligaments, cartilage and tendons. Work related conditions such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) and sports injuries
  • After surgery - rehabilitation after orthopaedic surgery e.g.. hip and knee replacements or general physiotherapy after general surgery
  • Fractures - treatment to increase the healing rate and gain full function once the bones have healed
  • Abdominal problems - such as spastic colon, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Gynaecological conditions - including stress incontinence, salpingitis and post-surgery rehabilitation
  • Obstetrics - including ante and post-natal classes/exercise/relaxation/advice and treatment for back pain during pregnancy
  • Chest conditions - both medical and surgical including hay fever, asthma and sinusitis, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, bronchitis and bronchiectasis
  • Neurological conditions - such as strokes, head injuries, nerve injuries, multiple sclerosis, shingles, cerebral palsy and ME
  • Paediatrics - for childhood conditions including postural and walking problems
  • Circulatory problems - such as Raynaud's disease, wounds, ulcers and cardiac rehabilitation


Physiotherapists use a number of different techniques including manipulation and mobilisation, massage, hydrotherapy, exercise programmes, electrotherapy (eg. ultrasound) and in some cases acupuncture. Education about your problem will also give you the confidence to get back to normal.