A physical therapist is a health professional who evaluates, diagnoses, treats and works to prevent diseases and disabilities through movement and exercise. Physical therapists are experts in body movement and function. Physical therapists diagnose and manage a wide range of conditions of the bones, muscles, cardiovascular system, nerves, and other parts and systems of the body. They can help people manage chronic diseases, give lifestyle advice, prescribe exercises and aids to help people manage better and give advice.
Physical therapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by an injury, illness, or disability. Physical therapy is a health profession that deals with the prevention, evaluation and treatment of human movement disorders. Physical therapists are experts in human movement and play a key role in preventing, identifying, evaluating, treating and (re) enabling people when movement and function are threatened or affected by aging, injury, disease, conditions or environmental factors. Physiotherapy is internationally governed by World Physiotherapy, which advocates that the physiotherapy profession be responsible for articulating the scope of practice of the profession and defining the roles of physical therapists, with national physiotherapy associations responsible for defining physical therapy and the role of physical therapists in relation to their own nation's specific health service delivery needs.
The role of a physiotherapist is physically very demanding, since it involves lifting, moving and manipulating patients and therefore requires physical strength and endurance. Physical therapy is a very practical profession, in which physical contact between the therapist and the patient plays a key role.