Thursday 15 January 2015

10 Good reasons why physiotherapists are perfectly placed to deliver exercise prescription.

A Physiotalk Tweet Chat recently posed the question ... 'Is exercise at the heart of Physiotherapy?' ... and that got me thinking!

So here is my take on that ... written in a mini-blog and offered up as a SlideShare version for those who prefer that sort of thing.

Here are 10 good reasons why physiotherapists are perfectly placed to deliver exercise prescription.

1.    Specific knowledge of exercise physiology and sports science
2.    Specific knowledge of neurology
3.    Specific knowledge of MSK pathology, co-morbidity and disability
4.    Specific knowledge of the respiratory system
5.    Specific knowledge of biomechanics
6.    Specific knowledge of pain science, and the ability to communicate strategies for behavioural change
7.    Specific knowledge of the psychological, mental health and societal  implications of injury/illness/dysfunction
8.    The ability to progress and modify exercise prescription to meet mutually agreed goals/targets
9.    The ability to develop exercise prescription to meet agreed functional needs

10.  The ability to modify exercise prescription to meet the need of all age groups and levels of aspiration.

Question is … Are we using a ‘system based approach' and leading the pack? … or simply too busy sniping from silos?

I have some thoughts about that ... but I think we should concentrate on directions for the future ... for physiotherapy and exercise prescription. 


1.    Step outside your silo ... and lay down your guns! Firing at others is a waste of time and energy ... save it ... or your performance will suffer!

2.    Concentrate on integrating and sharing the knowledge

3.    Spend more time and energy on what DOES work

4.    Consider exercise prescription as a powerful TREATMENT MODALITY

5.    Develop and promote a ‘Systems based approach’ to exercise prescription, which incorporates all of the above

6.    Exercise your minds … Become leaders NOT followers

See a full 'SlideShare' version of this mini blog here

For resources/evidence for exercise and health, together with just a few reasons WHY exercise matters go here.


Alan J Taylor is a writer and critic who thinks about stuff and works as a Physiotherapist and University lecturer ... The views contained in this blog are his own and are not linked to any organisation or institution. Like Bukowski, he writes to stay sane.

You'll find him mostly on Twitter


  1. Couldn't agree more! Unfortunately there is still a mindset amongst many 'therapists' that if they don't "rub the patient" they're not doing real treatment. Exercise is seen as a secondary add on to "magical hands on" treatment, rather than as the primary means of empowering the patient to self manage and not have to come back for more "therapy"

  2. Thanks for your kind comments folks ...
    Yes, exercise is seen by many as 'just' an add on ... BUT it is one of our most evidence based and powerful modalities ... We should harness it!

  3. I think that this is great and that exercise should be at the heart of physiotherapy. We already know that exercise is good for the body and, as you pointed out, someone who has specific knowledge on so many topics such as neurology and the implications of injury and illness can only help to steer that exercise and physical activity towards a better and more helpful direction. What's wrong with that? This article has really made me think about this whole discussion, I might talk to my therapist friend at church, see what he thinks about it.