Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that provides services to individuals and public to maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout their lifespan. This includes providing services in circumstances where movements and functions are affected by aging, injury, disease and environmental factors. Functional movement is central to be healthy.
Physiotherapy is concerned with identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment or intervention and rehabilitation. This encompasses physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Physiotherapy also involves the interaction between physiotherapists, patients, other healthcare professionals, families, care givers, and communities in a process where movement potential is assessed and goals are agreed upon, using knowledge and skills unique to physiotherapists.
Physiotherapy has many specialities including cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurological, orthopaedic and pediatrics, to name some of the more common areas. Physiotherapists practise in many settings, such as outpatient clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, extended care facilities, private nursing homes, education and research centres, schools, hospices, industrial work places or other occupational environments, fitness centres and sports training centres. The core skills of the physiotherapists include manual therapy, therapeutic exercises and the application of electrotherapeutic modalities such as heat, cold and electrical stimulation.
Like all other health professionals, physiotherapists require a formal education and training before they are allowed to practise. They work independently and able to exercise their judgment and make decisions of their patients. They are regulated by a professional body and must adhere to an ethical code of practice.
With the increase in population as well as an increase in the life expectancy of the regular Malaysian coupled with the growth in the number of hospitals built, the demand for physiotherapists is expected to increase further.