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Physiotherapists treat people who are recovering from physical harm and those who seek relief from pain caused by chronic physical problems. To work as a physiotherapist you must obtain a bachelor’s degree and apply for a license to practice the profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the United States, until May 2011, physiotherapists received an average income of US $ 70,830.
Physiotherapists usually receive patients referred by family doctors and medical specialists. They work with patients as part of a broader treatment plan programmed by a health team, or on the recommendation of the patient’s personal physician. A patient’s first visit consists of a consultation to assess their condition and determine the best way to treat it. The physiotherapist draws a plan that includes appointments and the exercises that the patient should perform.
Physiotherapists treat patients in their private offices, hospitals and places of retreat, and use various types of exercise equipment to restore physical health. After the first consultation, each visit of a patient consists of routines to advance the treatment that include stretching and exercises. A physiotherapist also monitors the progress of strength and flexibility to determine where to make changes in the physiotherapy routine.
Physiotherapy has two objectives: physical rehabilitation and pain relief. Someone with a shoulder injury or patients who have suffered a traumatic injury often need physical therapy to regain normal mobility as the injuries heal. In those cases, a physiotherapist designs a plan to increase the range of mobility and minimize pain. The professional guides the patient during the plan to achieve these goals.
In some cases, the physiotherapist assists people who have chronic physical illnesses that probably will not be completely resolved. The typical objective in these cases is to improve the patient’s quality of life. By means of stretching, exercises and work of legs, arms, back, shoulders, neck or the place where the pain comes from, the physiotherapist hopes to reduce the awareness of the problem that the patient has and alleviate its impact on his life. Teaching patients to apply heat and cold to the swollen ankles and knees is a simple and common way with which the physiotherapist can help with relief. In some cases, such as exercising the stiffness of an arthritis joint, physiotherapy is a preventive measure to avoid the physical repercussions of diseases and disabilities.