What Physiotherapists Do

What do physiotherapists do, exactly?

A physiotherapist’s goal is to get you moving. That means getting you to a place where you can be at your best functional capacity, maintaining that and then helping you to prevent future injuries.

Everybody’s different. You might have completely different signs and symptoms than your friend. A physiotherapist is trained to customize a rehabilitation program specifically for you. That includes any other health conditions you might be experiencing, your age, and your activity level.

Physiotherapy typically involves hands-on treatment, including manual therapy to stretch stiff joints, and therapeutic massage to loosen tight muscles. There may also be machines involved with your treatment. Some types of electrical machines can help address pain or help to stimulate weak muscles. An individualized home exercise program will also be prescribed that may involve a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises.

It would be helpful to choose a consistent time of day to do your exercises. Would it be easier for you to perform your exercises in the morning, or before you go to sleep? Physiotherapy is most effective when you work with your physiotherapist as a team!


A physiotherapist is trained to customize a rehabilitation program specifically for you


We see a lot of pain, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Our job is to educate you on movement and your pain, and help you get back to whatever it is that you need to do.


Find a physiotherapist


The Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) represents physiotherapists, physiotherapist assistants and physiotherapist students across Canada. CPA members are rehabilitation professionals dedicated to the health, mobility and fitness of Canadians.

Physiotherapists are primary health care professionals who combine their in-depth knowledge of the body and how it works with specialized hands-on clinical skills to assess, diagnose and treat symptoms of illness, injury or disability.

More than 20,000 registered physiotherapists work in Canada, in private clinics, general and rehabilitation hospitals, community health centres, residential care and assisted-living facilities, home visit agencies, workplaces, and schools.