What is a Physiotherapist?

A Physiotherapist is a healthcare professional with a minimum four-year university degree, who helps people recover from physical injuries, illnesses or disabilities through movement and exercise, providing hands on treatment as required. They work with people of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, and in a variety of settings, such as private practices, residential aged care facilities, hospitals, schools and both sports and rehabilitation centers.

Please visit the Australian Physiotherapy Association website for more information.

Who can Physiotherapists help?

Physiotherapists assess, diagnose, and treat a wide range of physical problems, including musculoskeletal injuries, neurological conditions, disorders of the vestibular system, cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, and persistent pain. They use various techniques, such as manual therapy, exercise prescription, electrotherapy, and education, to improve mobility, strength, endurance, and balance, and reduce pain and disability.

Physiotherapists also play an important role in preventing injuries, promoting health and wellness, and improving an individual’s capacity for activities of daily living and return to meaningful activities. They educate individuals on how to prevent injury and falls, manage chronic conditions, and engage in regular physical activity to improve functional capacity, achieve their goals, and improve their quality of life.

Our Physiotherapists can help a wide range of people within the Far North Queensland community, with various health conditions and disabilities. Physiotherapists are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat physical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiorespiratory and vestibular systems, using a variety of techniques to help improve movement, reduce pain, and promote overall wellness, recovery, and functional capacity.

Physiotherapy can help individuals of all ages, from children to the elderly. Here are some examples of who can benefit from physiotherapy:

  • Cardiorespiratory conditions:

Physiotherapy can be helpful for people with respiratory conditions such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). Physiotherapists can teach breathing techniques and airway clearance techniques, whilst prescribing appropriate exercises to help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their lung function.

  • Neurological conditions:

Physiotherapy can be a valuable treatment for individuals with neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. Physiotherapists can help improve mobility, balance, and coordination, as well as address specific symptoms such as spasticity or tremors.

  • Persistent pain conditions:

Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for persistent pain conditions, such as chronic musculoskeletal pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia, to name a few. Physiotherapists can use techniques such as exercise therapy, manual therapy, and dry needling to help manage pain and improve function. They may also recommend strategies for self-management, such as relaxation techniques or mindfulness.

  • Sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions:

Physiotherapy can help people recover from injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures. Physiotherapists can design specific exercise programs to help individuals regain strength and mobility, and reduce pain. They can also use techniques such as manual therapy (including, though not limited to massage, joint mobilisation and dry needling) to help promote movement, and reduce discomfort associated with injury.

  • Surgery recovery:

Physiotherapy is often recommended for individuals recovering from surgery, such as joint replacement or spinal surgery. Physiotherapists can help individuals regain strength, flexibility, and mobility post-surgery, as well as manage pain and prevent post-surgical complications such as blood clots or muscle weakness.

  • Vestibular conditions:

Conditions such as vestibular neuritis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), and Meniere’s disease can all be responsible for maintaining impaired balance and spatial orientation within the brain, and can be assessed, diagnosed, and treated by a Physiotherapist. In the vestibular field, physiotherapy focuses on assessment of balance, eye movements, and postural control, and the prescription of a personalised treatment plan. A treatment plan may include exercises to improve balance, coordination, and gaze stability, as well as habituation exercises to reduce sensitivity to motion.

Overall, physiotherapy is a versatile and valuable healthcare profession that can help individuals of all ages and with a wide range of conditions to improve their physical function, mobility, and quality of life.

Benefits of seeing a Physiotherapist

Engaging in support from a Physiotherapist can lead to:

Improvements in:

  • Balance and mobility
  • Bone density
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness and function
  • Cognition (concentration, memory, and thinking)
  • Community access
  • Coordination and dexterity
  • Confidence to move and do more safely
  • Emotional wellbeing, mood, and mental health (e.g. symptoms of anxiety and depression)
  • Energy levels
  • Flexibility and range of motion (ROM)
  • Functional capacity
  • Immune function
  • Independence in activities of daily living (ADLs) and occupations
  • Motivation for a healthy and meaningful lifestyle
  • Muscular Strength and Endurance
  • Posture and movement patterns
  • Pain management
  • Recovery timeframes following surgery and/or injury
  • Self-management of health, well-being, and quality of life
  • Sleep hygiene and quality
  • Spasticity, stiffness, and contractures
  • Sports and athletic performance
  • Understanding of health condition and appropriate self-management
  • Weight loss

Reductions in:

  • Development and/or progression of chronic disease
  • Need for invasive and expensive treatments such as surgery
  • Need for medication for management of health conditions
  • Risk of falls, injury, and re-aggravation of existing injuries

Support in:

  • Goal setting for the ability to achieve important life goals
  • Healthy body composition management
  • Maintenance of a healthy, meaningful, and active lifestyle
  • Management of chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity

What is involved in an initial Physiotherapy session? 

An Initial Physiotherapy consultation will typically involve the following steps:

  • Assessment: The first step in a physiotherapy session is to assess the client’s individual presentation. The physiotherapist will evaluate the client’s medical history, current symptoms, holistic wellbeing, and conduct any relevant physical assessments to influence diagnosis and treatment plan development.
  • Diagnosis: Based on the assessment, the physiotherapist will diagnose the client’s condition and discuss the findings with the client.
  • Treatment plan: The physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan tailored to the client’s specific needs. This may include education and advice on self-management, exercise prescription, and manual therapy as is clinically necessary.

The responsibility of the Physiotherapist after the initial Physiotherapy session typically involves the following steps:

  • Follow-up Planning: The physiotherapist will work collaboratively with the individual client, to monitor their progress and make adjustments to the treatment plan as needed, whether through ongoing appointments at an agreed upon frequency or telehealth communication.
  • Referrer communication: If a client has been referred for physiotherapy management from their General Practitioner, NDIS or Aged Care Support Coordinator, or WorkCover Case Manager, the physiotherapist will accordingly communicate the outcome of the client’s assessment and diagnosis, and liaise regarding ongoing management.

Physiotherapy services provided at Thriving Lives Co.

  • Corporate Healthcare:
    • Ergonomic assessments
    • Manual handling training
    • Pre-Employment Functional Capacity Evaluations
    • Wellness programs
  • Group Physiotherapy
    • Coming Soon
  • Gym-based exercise programming
  • Hydrotherapy/Aquatic Therapy
  • Individual Manual Handling Assessment, Reporting and Training
  • Individual therapy involving:
    • Education
    • Exercise prescription
    • Health coaching, behaviour change counselling, and motivational interviewing
    • Supervised exercise
  • Pilates-based exercise programming
  • Residential Aged Care therapy provision and assessment
  • Sport Specific training
  • Strength and conditioning

Our physiotherapists are available at a variety of our clinic locations throughout Far North Queensland as well as within the community by visiting homes, pools, gyms, and schools, in addition to telehealth to ensure that the exercise intervention development and reviews will occur in the location that supports realistic and meaningful change in the client’s life.

Referral Pathways

Physiotherapy services can be funded by Australian compensable schemes/pathways including:

Through these compensable schemes, Physiotherapists are able to support individuals to improve their functional capacity and participation in activities at home, school, work, and in the community.

What is special about a Thriving Lives Co. Physiotherapist?

  • We are all about empowering our clients to support them to be as independent in their personalised therapy as possible based on their needs and preferences. So, we work with everyone in our client’s lives to help support their development, autonomy, and independence.
  • We genuinely care about our clients and will commit the time required to truly understand our client’s needs to be able to deliver the most effective holistic, evidence-based healthcare for each individual.
  • We love what we do, which means when we are with our clients, we are having fun and doing everything in our power to help make it as fun and enjoyable as possible for everyone.
  • We appreciate that even though we are experts of human anatomy and physiology, our clients are the experts of their own health and life experiences, so we aim to speak less and listen more
  • We are humble and brave, so if we aren’t the right person to help or we don’t know how to help, we will refer our client to someone who can, or do more research and/or training to be able to help next time.
  • We are constantly reviewing the latest research to maintain our commitment to evidence-based practice to give ourselves and our clients the confidence that their healthcare is based upon the most reliable and valid information available to deliver the best care possible.
  • We all share a growth mindset so we love seeking out and receiving feedback and we take every opportunity we can to learn from our mistakes to become the best therapists that we can be.
  • We are constantly striving for excellence in the way we do things as a healthcare team, this is why we are always innovating and adapting to suit the needs of our clients and our community.
  • We really value teamwork and collaboration, and we are lucky enough to be able to work closely with a wide variety of skilled and experienced allied health professionals in our team to give our clients a broad interdisciplinary perspective and approach in their therapy.

Governance and Scope of Practice

All of our Physiotherapists achieve and maintain registration with their regulatory authority, The Physiotherapy Board of Australia, which is part of, and works in partnership with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to ensure that Australia’s registered health practitioners are suitably trained, qualified and safe to practice.

For more information regarding the scope of practice of a Physiotherapist please see the Physiotherapy Scope of Practice by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), the peak representative body of Physiotherapy in Australia.