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World Physiotherapy Day

World Physiotherapy Day: what you didn’t know physiotherapy could do

There is much more to physiotherapy than you may know, so for World Physiotherapy Day (8 September), physiotherapists are making New Zealander’s aware of the diversity of physiotherapy.

Physiotherapists are well known for treating injuries, but it is perhaps the range of conditions they can treat that is less known. Commonly sought out for sports injuries or rehabilitation, this year World Physiotherapy Day is about informing the public of the many other health problems a physio can help prevent and treat.

“As our society changes we are living longer but there is an increasing prevalence of long term chronic conditions resulting in less of a focus on ‘cure’ and more importance on the growing self-management and optimising function,” says Physiotherapy New Zealand President Ian d’Young.

“In this changing health landscape physiotherapists can play a key role in promoting function and activity in areas that may not have been considered before.”

Five areas physiotherapists have the skills to treat that you may not have been aware of;
1. Conditions effecting joints, bones and soft tissue, such as; arthritis, repetitive strain injury, and neck and back pain.
2. Work related injuries and trauma.
3. Non-communicable diseases including diabetes, heart problems, and lung disease.
4. Brain and nervous systems injuries and illnesses, including strokes, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury.
5. Incontinence.

“It’s about maintaining movement throughout life and working with factors such as age, wellness and activity,” says Mr d’Young. Physiotherapists have an advanced understanding of how the body moves.

A common misconception is that you must be referred by your doctor before seeing a physiotherapist, but this is not the case. Physios work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, health centres, sports facilities, education and research centres, hospices and nursing homes, rural and community settings and in many cases see patients without prior referral.

For more information about physiotherapy please visit


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