Meet the Members of your Healthcare Team: Physiotherapist Edition 

by Lisa McPhee, Open Arms Content Writer | May 30, 2023

woman in black shirt wearing yellow mask

In the next series of blogs, we will introduce you to the many team members you can expect to meet throughout your journey through the healthcare system. As May is National Physiotherapy Month, we thought an introduction to physiotherapy was a pertinent place to start. 

A Physiotherapist plays a critical role within the Canadian healthcare system, encompassing an assortment of specialized services to promote mobility, rehabilitation, and overall physical well-being. With a focus on evidence-based practice, Physiotherapists work in diverse settings, contributing to prevention, treatment, and management of various conditions. The aim of this article is to explore the variety of roles Physiotherapists play, shedding light on their contributions and their impact on patient’s health. 

Through evidence-based practice they endorse functional independence, mobility, and overall well-being for patients of all ages and backgrounds

Physiotherapists in Primary Care 

Outside of the hospital, Physiotherapists can be counted on for everyone’s muscle and bone health. They conduct comprehensive assessments, diagnose conditions, and develop a personalized treatment plan for everyone’s needs. This involves supplying education, prescribing of healing exercises, and employing manual therapy techniques to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and augment function. Primary care physiotherapists are vital in managing non-emergency bone and muscle ailments, resulting in the reduction of burden on other healthcare providers.  

Physiotherapists in Rehabilitation 

Physiotherapists work as part of the health care team in rehabilitation settings. They contribute to the recovery of individuals with a vast spectrum of conditions. Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in recoveries after brain injuries, heart attacks, breathing issues and rehabilitation after surgery. Healing techniques, exercise programs and assistive devices are used by Physiotherapists to improve function, promote recovery, and enhance the quality of life for their patients. 

Physiotherapists in Chronic Disease Management 

Physiotherapists play a pivotal role in the management of chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, as well as heart and breathing conditions. They work closely with patients to develop personal exercise programs that emphasize heart health, strength training and flexibility exercises. Physiotherapists further aid patients in managing their conditions by promoting physical activity, and healthier lifestyles which in turn, prevents complications and expands overall well-being. 

Physiotherapists in Geriatric Care 

The geriatric population encompasses a variety of unique, age-related needs. Physiotherapists specialized in the care of elders help in encouraging healthy aging and enriching their day-to-day lives by supplying the skills needed to keep their independence. They aid and manage geriatric related conditions such as osteoporosis, balance disorders and conditions that affect mobility. To reduce the risk of falls and ease independent living they use techniques to improve balance, strength, and coordination. They may also supply education for safe mobility aids and recommend home modifications to create a safer environment for senior adults.  

Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine 

In the realm of sports medicine, physiotherapists actively work with coaches, trainers, and other healthcare individuals to perfect performance and minimize the risk of sports-related injuries. They use specialized techniques such as taping, manual therapy and prescribed exercises to treat and prevent harm to athletes. They also contribute to the assessment, recovery, and develop a safe return-to-play protocol for athletes under their care. 

Physiotherapists play diverse and integral roles in the Canadian healthcare system, contributing to patient care in primary care, rehabilitation, chronic disease management, geriatric care, and sports medicine. Through evidence-based practice they endorse functional independence, mobility, and overall well-being for patients of all ages and backgrounds. By recognizing and appreciating the comprehensive impacts of physiotherapists we can foster a healthcare system that prioritizes comprehensive and patient-centered care. 

For further information on this prestigious and integral healthcare career please visit the following websites: 

The Canadian Physiotherapy Association 

Ontario Physiotherapy Association 

Physiotherapy Alberta College and Association 

How can Open Arms Advocacy Help? 

We advocate for a wide array of patient issues from emergency room care, senior care, women’s health, mental health, and acute care to medical fatalities. We help patients get a second opinion, find a physician, place a complaint, or access medical documents. Open Arms also helps families of patients with guidance, support, and resources to get the answers they require. 

If you need a patient advocate, please contact us at or fill out our intake form.