The heart of the physiotherapy profession is understanding how and why movement and function take place. Physiotherapists are highly skilled and autonomous health professionals who provide safe, quality client-centred physiotherapy through a commitment to service availability, accessibility and excellence. The profession is shaped by scientific evidence and the education and competencies of the physiotherapists delivering the services. Physiotherapy is grounded in the belief that to be effective, its services must respond to the changing needs of populations and our health system.

Physiotherapists utilize diagnostic and assessment procedures and tools in order to develop and implement preventive and therapeutic courses of intervention. They apply a collaborative and reasoned approach to help clients achieve their health goals, in particular focusing on the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiorespiratory and multi-systems. Within these systems, physiotherapists practice 2 Description of Physiotherapy in Canada 2012 practice in areas that include paediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, women’s health, pain, critical care, wound care, occupational health and sports medicine. Physiotherapists analyze the impact of injury, disease, disorders, or lifestyle on movement and function. Their unique contribution to health care is to promote, restore and prolong physical independence by enhancing a client’s functional capacity. Physiotherapists encourage clients to assume responsibility for their health and participate in team approaches to health service delivery.

Physiotherapy Interventions Physiotherapy interventions include, but are by no means limited to, the following broad categories: Education, consultation, health promotion and prevention services.

  • Personalized therapeutic exercise including testing and conditioning, neurotherapeutic approaches to improve strength, range of motion, and function.

  • Soft tissue and manual therapy techniques; including massage, spinal and peripheral joint mobilization and manipulation.

  • Physical, electrotherapeutic and mechanical agents; and acupuncture.

  • Cardiorespiratory techniques including airway clearance methods. Skin and wound care.

  • Management of incontinence including pelvic floor re-education.

  • Functional activity and tolerance testing and training.

  • Work and occupational re-training and return to work planning.

  • Prescription, fabrication and application of assistive, adaptive, supportive and protective devices and equipment.

  • Environmental change, focusing on removing barriers to function.


Stu MacDonald, BHSc Physiotherapy

Stu McDonald was born and raised in Nelson, BC. A calling for growth and education landed him in New Zealand where he finished at the top of his class in Physiotherapy. Stu worked primarily with the athletic population treating "weekend warriors" to professional athletes in Auckland. After the birth of their daughter, Meiwah, Stu and his wife Lisa moved back to the Kootenays. He is now practicing in Castlegar and Nelson and is excited to give back to the community that raised and nurtured him.

Stu believes in a holistic practice that incorporates exercise rehabilitation, manual-therapy including dry needling, and education. Most importantly, Stu believes in staying evidence-informed, meaning your treatment will be based on the most current literature and best practice in Physiotherapy.