Physiotherapists are experts in the structure of the human body and its movement. They work with people of all ages to treat a broad range of health conditions including sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions as well as chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis and stroke. Physiotherapists are involved in the assessment, diagnosis, planning and management of patient care.

Where do physiotherapists practise?

Physiotherapists work across a range of health settings including private practices, public and private hospitals, community health centres, residential aged care facilities and sports organisations.

When should I see a physiotherapist?

There are a wide range of triggers that may lead to a person being referred or choosing to see a physiotherapist. This includes everything from sports injuries to chronic health conditions. Some typical reasons to see a physiotherapist include:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Stroke and other neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema
  • Musculoskeletal and sports injuries
  • Occupational health
  • Pain management
  • Sports injuries and prevention

You can find out more about the conditions physiotherapists can treat by visiting the Choose Physio website.

What services do physiotherapists provide?

Physiotherapists assess, diagnose, plan and manage the care of patients across a broad range of areas with musculoskeletal, cardiothoracic and neurological problems. They help patients with chronic disease management, provide lifestyle modification and self-management advice, prescribe aids and appliances, prescribe and supervise exercises for both patients and carers, and provide health promotion education, occupational health assessments and injury prevention activities.

Physiotherapists can help treat a range of chronic conditions, often as part of multidisciplinary teams. They are trained to design individual programs of care that help address risk factors arising from co-morbidities and physical limitations in people with chronic conditions.

How are physiotherapists qualified?

To qualify as a physiotherapist, practitioners must complete a bachelor, masters or professional doctorate program. They must also complete supervised practice in a clinical setting. Physiotherapists are required by law to be registered under the National Physiotherapy Board of Australia. Members of the Australian Physiotherapy Association must also complete continuing professional development.

Further information

For more detailed information about physiotherapy, please visit the Australian Physiotherapy Association:


Telephone: 1300 306 622
Social media: Facebook

Find a practitioner

The Australian Physiotherapy Association has a Find a Physio service that can be accessed here. Many physiotherapists are also listed in the National Health Services Directory.