Physiotherapist Shakes a Patient's HandThe Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia's 2500+ members keep British Columbians Moving for Life, which is no small feat.

British Columbia is the healthiest and most active province in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2013and BC physios are visible at all levels of the profession. Whether it's treating hospital patients and 'weekend warrior' athletes, Olympians and professional sports teams, or delivering keynote addresses at conferences and leading research initiatives that change the way we think about the human body, BC's physiotherapists are actively involved in improving the lives of British Columbians. 

The Most Active Health Professionals in Canada

BC physiotherapists know best how to provide treatment for pain and injuries that gets results. With a Masters Degree of Physical Therapy, the study of physiotherapy is anchored in movement sciences and aims to enhance or restore function of multiple body systems. The profession is committed to health, lifestyle and quality of life. 

Physiotherapists (or physical therapists)—using judgement and techniques based on their extensive education, science and research—work with patients to help them walk and move freely after injury, recover mobility after illness or surgery, manage chronic diseases like arthritis and diabetes and much more. A physiotherapist will work with you to put together a treatment plan for your condition or injury, so you can get back to enjoying life and the activities you love.

Physiotherapists work with clients of all ages and with a wide range of health conditions. Whether it’s pain management and rehabilitation from an acute injury like a sprained ankle, or management of chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, a physiotherapist can help. Physiotherapy is not limited to rehabilitation of injury and the effects of disease or disability. A physiotherapist also provides education and treatments aimed at health promotion, disease and injury prevention. Read what inspires our member physios about their work in their own words.

Where Do Physiotherapists Work?

Physiotherapists work in a broad range of settings providing client and/or population health interventions as well as management, educational, research and consultation services. Physiotherapy can be accessed in the community at private clinics and through home care services. Physiotherapy services are often affiliated with retirement residences and child development centres. If you are admitted to the hospital for surgery, such as a joint replacement or heart surgery, chances are likely that the physiotherapist was an important member of your health care team. Learn more about how you can access a physiotherapy services by visiting Access, Fees, and Coverage for Physiotherapy.

How Do Physiotherapists Make Assessments?

A physiotherapist will assess you using detailed history-taking as well as specific physical tests and measures, such as flexibility or range of motion. He or she will then analyze the assessment findings and use clinical reasoning to establish a diagnosis. Together, you will explore your current abilities and functional needs so the physiotherapist can plan treatments that are consistent with your goals and general health status, and which incorporate approaches and techniques supported by the best evidence available.

What Can Physiotherapy Treatments Involve?

Physiotherapy treatments can include the following:

  • Personalized exercise programs designed to improve your strength, range of motion, and function
  • Massage
  • Joint mobilization and manipulation to reduce pain and stiffness
  • Hot and cold packs and modalities to relieve pain, reduce swelling, speed up the healing process, improve movement and function
  • Airway clearance methods to assist people with breathing difficulties
  • Skin and wound care
  • Management of incontinence including pelvic floor re-education
  • Functional activity and tolerance testing and training
  • Work and occupational re-training and return to work planning
  • Prescription, fabrication and application of assistive, adaptive, supportive and protective devices and equipment
  • Environmental change, focusing on removing barriers to function