An ongoing problem in physiotherapy, is the lack of ability to protect the term “physiotherapy”.  In plain terms, in Canada, only a registered physiotherapist can claim to be a physiotherapist, but essentially anyone can claim to be providing “physiotherapy”.


As a physiotherapist, you can likely see how this bothers me.  Some people believe that if they put an ultrasound on someone’s sore shoulder, or a heat pack on your low back they are providing “physiotherapy”, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth.


Physiotherapy is not easily defined.  Here is a definition from the Canadian Physiotherapy Assocation (


Physiotherapy is a primary care, autonomous, client-focused health profession dedicated to improving quality of life by:

Promoting optimal mobility, physical activity and overall health and wellness;
Preventing disease, injury, and disability;
Managing acute and chronic conditions, activity limitations, and participation restrictions;

Improving and maintaining optimal functional independence and physical performance;
Rehabilitating injury and the effects of disease or disability with therapeutic exercise programs and other interventions; and Educating and planning maintenance and support programs to prevent re-occurrence, re-injury or functional decline.

Physiotherapy is anchored in movement sciences and aims to enhance or restore function of multiple body systems. The profession is committed to health, lifestyle and quality of life. This holistic approach incorporates a broad range of physical and physiological therapeutic interventions and aids.

Physiotherapy services are those that are performed by physiotherapists or any other trained individuals working under a physiotherapist’s direction and supervision.

If you are seeking physiotherapy treatment, it is important to ask questions.  Is the person that is treating you a registered physiotherapist, or are they another health professional?  It is common practice for clinics to employ people who are not registered physiotherapists to carry out their treatment plans because they are cheaper.  So what are you paying for?


At South Simcoe Physiotherapy, we are all registered physiotherapists, not other professionals claiming to provide “physiotherapy”.  We treat all of our clients one on one and do not use assistants to carry out our treatment plans.  If you are looking for a physiotherapist to provide you with “physiotherapy”, give us a call!

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