If you’ve never experienced significant pain or injury in the past, you may be wondering what physiotherapists do.

To learn, you can start by watching our video and then read more about what they do.


Physiotherapists are healthcare practitioners. They have completed a master’s degree in Physical Therapy at a university. They have a deep understanding of the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems. Looking at how people move and what their postures are like, they gather information about their patient’s typical daily activities, such as things they do at home, at work, and in their leisure time. They put all of that information together to look at the big picture and determine the cause for the client’s complaint of pain, numbness, weakness, or stiffness.


Physios provide treatment for various types of injuries such as acute injuries, muscle strains, ligament sprains, nerve injuries, and fractures. They treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which cause jaw pain. They also treat headaches and vertigo as well as incontinence. Physios can help people recovering from surgery or strokes.

Physiotherapist assessing a patient


Physical therapists do hands-on therapy, which includes soft tissue massage and releases as well as mobilization to the joints. Manual therapy helps to loosen up the muscles and increase joint mobility. They use heat packs and ice packs as treatment as well.

The type of injuries that you have will determine the type of treatment a physio would provide. For example, our physiotherapist also provides acupuncture when needed.

Overall, physio treatment helps decrease pain and improve flexibility in the muscles.

Cardio Equipment in the Port Coquitlam Kinesiology Clinic | Nova Active Rehab


Therapists use various machines as treatment for pain relief as well as bringing circulation to the injured areas for faster recovery. Some of the common machines physiotherapists use are interferential current, TENS machine, and ultrasound.


Physios provide education to their patients so they have a better understanding of what contributes to their injury or pathology. The therapist coaches patients on how they can manage their symptoms at home through changes in their daily activities, their sleep posture, and their sitting or standing posture. They may give suggestions of how to improve the ergonomic setup of their work station. They give advice on how to safely participate in sports or hobbies that affect their symptoms.


Physical therapists prescribe specific exercises for patients to do to assist with their rehabilitation goal. Exercises are prescribed for the purpose of improving joint flexibility, strength, or stability. For example, if you are suffering from chronic lower back pain, a physiotherapist would show you core stability exercises to reduce your back pain. Someone who is pregnant or has recently delivered a baby may also be shown core stability exercises aimed at increasing the stability of their lower back and pelvis.

Would you like to learn more about our physiotherapy services?
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