Physiotherapy Specialties to Boost Your Career

A physiotherapist (PT) can choose to specialize in one or more areas throughout their professional career. They must first become a physical therapist and practice for at least 2,000 clock hours in their area of specialization. In some cases, they must take classes or an exam; in others, proving their prior experience is all that is needed. For example, they can take a class or exam to prove prior experience in specific areas of expertise.

What Is a Physical Therapy Specialization?

Physiotherapy, also called physical therapy, is a healthcare profession that focuses on treating patients using therapeutic physical activity. Physiotherapists are typically trained to treat patients with diseases, injured muscles, and chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system. A physical therapist can perform a variety of therapeutic exercises and use equipment to help patients improve their mobility, flexibility, balance, and strength. Physiotherapists can specialize in specific areas such as orthopaedic, geriatric, neurological, cardiac, sports, pediatric, and more.

Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)

Orthopaedic specialists treat injuries and adverse conditions of the bone, muscle, tendons, ligaments and joints. They also see patients with musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis or those recovering from surgery. The requirements for becoming an OCS include: medical license, medical education, medical insurance, and training.

Joint and Soft Tissue Manipulation

Physiotherapists may use manual therapy techniques to help patients with various conditions. Manual therapy involves using gentle and light pressure on joints and soft tissues to ease pain, increase range of motion, speed recovery, and prevent further injury. Physiotherapists may also recommend exercise programs to increase mobility and strengthen the injured body part or joints.

Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Most people begin with exercise when they are healthy. Unfortunately, over time, most people start to experience symptoms related to ageing, such as joint pain, muscle weakness, and loss of flexibility. Physiotherapists can evaluate patients with cardiovascular problems to determine which types of exercises will increase their heart health and restore their cardiovascular function. The goal of cardiovascular rehabilitation is to restore the normal movement of the heart, prevent blood clots, and improve muscle strength, endurance, and speed. In order to do this, the physiotherapist will have to determine the cause of the condition, determine the cause of the patient’s symptoms, and then design an exercise program that will address the underlying issues.

Dry Needling

Many patients find that they get temporary relief from back pain by undertaking a form of dry needling. During this type of treatment, the physiotherapist inserts a needle into a specific spot on the patient. The needle is usually not made of latex; in fact, most needles used in this process are made of stainless steel or titanium. This technique relieves swelling and reduces pain while strengthening muscles and improving bone density.

Interferential Therapy

Physiotherapists also use various techniques to help reduce and manage chronic conditions. Some techniques include ultrasound, laser, electrical stimulation, manual therapy, and mechanical traction. Some types of ultrasound and laser treatments can treat acute injuries, while mechanical traction helps patients with chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. The goal of ultrasound is to temporarily remove pain; electrotherapy works to correct muscle tone and stimulate nerves.


Physiotherapy for arthritis is more intense and should be tailored to a patient’s particular needs. If the physiotherapist finds that a patient is having difficulty walking, the physiotherapist might suggest increasing the patient’s leg length to increase their leg strength. If the patient is experiencing severe pain in the legs, they might also benefit from doing exercises in swimming, cycling, or other sports. For example, a client with arthritic knee osteoarthritis might do calf exercises to increase strength and minimize pain while riding a bicycle.

Home Treatment

If you are interested in receiving treatments at home, there are numerous clinics that offer services. Home physiotherapy has been around for years, and some people prefer to treat their conditions in this way. Home treatments can also be less expensive. In addition, there are numerous spas offering home physiotherapy treatments, so if you’re interested, you should check that out as well.


Physiotherapy does not cure injuries, but it can reduce discomfort. It also helps patients deal with pain and strengthen muscles through exercise. As we have mentioned, it is important to consult with a professional physiotherapist before undertaking any exercise program. NW Rehab provides many resources to help you better understand the relationship between physiotherapy and the human body.
Physiotherapists provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative services. With a good physiotherapist on your team, the results can be dramatic!

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