What is physiotherapy

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What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy uses proven techniques to help restore movement and function to anyone affected by an injury, disability or health condition. It’s a therapy that can help you achieve movement for life!

A physio will use their in-depth knowledge of how the body works, combined with hands-on clinical skills, to assess, diagnose and treat your symptoms. They can even help you prevent many injuries and health conditions.

While well known for treating injuries, physios have the skills to treat and prevent a range of health problems involving;

  • Joints, bones and soft tissue
  • Heart
  • Chest and lungs
  • Brain and nervous system

Physios work in lots of different settings including hospitals, medical centres, marae, schools, work places, communities and private clinics.

Why choose physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy can help you avoid surgery, reduce your medication, manage your pain and reduce the risk of injury. Physios are highly qualified and can help you with a range of conditions and symptoms, including chronic conditions such as arthritis. Compared with many other treatments physio is also highly cost-effective and you can self refer.

Qualified Physios

All physios are health professionals with a university degree in physiotherapy (at a minimum), many go on to further study and areas of specialization.

Physios who work in New Zealand are registered with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand; the board makes sure that they are qualified, competent and that their skills are updated frequently.

You can also check that your physio is a member of Physiotherapy New Zealand. This shows they are committed to high standards of practice and professionalism.


Physiotherapy covers a wide range of health problems and physios often choose to concentrate their expertise on a particular area. Areas of practice can include;

  • Acupuncture
  • Cardiothoracic
  • Continence and Women's Health
  • Hand therapy
  • Manual Therapy
  • Neurology
  • Occupational Health
  • Older Adults
  • Paediatric
  • Sports

Use our Find a Physio tool to find a physio with a particular area of practice.

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