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Taking up a career in physiotherapy

A Physiotherapist is a health care professional who helps a patient recuperate with pain, mobility, and physical strength after an accident, sports injury, surgery, illness, sedentary lifestyle, wrong postures, or ageing to lead an independent and pain-free life.
Last Updated : 25 December 2023, 23:26 IST
Last Updated : 25 December 2023, 23:26 IST

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Today, the demand for qualified physiotherapists is on the rise. Due to a sedentary lifestyle, incorrect postures, and long hours of working on computers, adults and even youngsters often suffer from back, shoulder, elbow, neck, back, and knee pain.

The main aim of a physiotherapist is to help restore and rehab the patient’s body to its maximum functioning level. A Physiotherapist is a health care professional who helps a patient recuperate with pain, mobility, and physical strength after an accident, sports injury, surgery, illness, sedentary lifestyle, wrong postures, or ageing to lead an independent and pain-free life.

If you wish to pursue a career in the field, you should be caring, empathetic, patient, and sensitive as you work with patients dealing with health issues. A physiotherapist must gently yet firmly be able to motivate the patient, encourage them to exercise, and instil positivity in them. A physiotherapist must be self-disciplined, physically fit, have good stamina, and overall be optimistic. 

A physiotherapist uses kinesiology, electrotherapy, exercise therapy, and joint mobilisation to manage various patient problems. You must be a keen learner and equip yourself with the latest technological advancement and be comfortable using the various tools (balls, weights, bands, pulley system, etc.) and technology as one must use a variety of equipment such as electrotherapy, vibration plates, ultrasound machines and so on.

As you must work in a team with other healthcare professionals, you must be a good team player with excellent communication skills.

What to study

To pursue a career in physiotherapy, one must pass 12th in the science stream and clear the entrance exam for physiotherapy students to get a Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy. Today, you can earn a diploma in physiotherapy, pursue postgraduate studies, or even a PhD in physiotherapy. 

You must have proper anatomical and musculoskeletal knowledge, body posture, balance, and movement, so ideally, opt for a graduation or Post-graduation degree. Internships for physiotherapists are beneficial for entering the workforce. Proper hands-on experience will enhance your skills and knowledge to assess and treat various patients.

Physiotherapy is a vast field with many specialisations, and new options are on the rise in this profession. One of the most common branches is orthopaedic Physiotherapy, which rehabilitates people with conditions of the bones, muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments. Geriatric physiotherapists guide the elderly to ease pain from arthritis, osteoporosis, and stiffness. Also, one can specialise as a sports physiotherapist to heal sports injuries and therapy to help athletes recover.

Onco physiotherapists work with patients who are recovering from surgery related to cancer. Paediatric physiotherapists work with infants and children with cerebral palsy, skeletal disorders, or congenital disabilities to regain their strength and improve their motor skills. Cardiovascular physiotherapists are involved in the recovery of patients who have heart issues. Obstetrics physiotherapists deal with the rehabilitation of mothers after delivery.

Areas of employment

A physiotherapist can work in a hospital, nursing home, health care centre, special schools, Sports centres (with national and international teams for cricket, football, boxing, etc), senior citizens’ homes, or even set up one’s independent practice. 

Physiotherapy can be a fulfilling career for individuals who are passionate and dedicated to helping others and are interested in human anatomy and exercise.

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Published 25 December 2023, 23:26 IST

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