Introduction to Physiotherapy Services 物理治療服務簡介
What is Physiotherapy? 物理治療是什麼?


Physiotherapy is defined by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) as “providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan”.


In order to achieve therapeutic outcome, physiotherapy adopts the beneficial effect of human physiological response to physical stimulation. For instance, the physical modalities which will be commonly used including electricity, water, cold, heat, light, magnetism, exercise, manual technique and … etc.


With the skillful practice of scientific evidence and the art of empathy, physiotherapy will apply the principle of physical, psychological, pathological and anatomical sciences, to achieve an ultimate goal of safe and effective clinical outcome on the patients.


In summary, physiotherapy will enhance patient’s physical activity and functional movement recovery, improve the muscle strength, prevent disease and improve quality of life.



Clienteles: 服務對象:

Physiotherapy in Hong Kong is characterized by the harmonious integration of modern Chinese medicine and
advanced Western medical approach.

The service domain extensively covers rehabilitation, health education, disease prevention, health and scientific research and other health related issues.

Clienteles include patients of all ages and various diseases ( such as orthopaedics, neurology , heart, lung , surgery , internal medicine,
pediatrics , geriatrics , gynecology , oncology and psychiatry and … etc. ) from non-government-organization, public and private service sectors.


香港物理治療發展薈萃中西,工作涵蓋臨床醫療、復康、教育、預防疾病創傷、保健及科研等範疇。服務對象包括各年齡人仕、市民大眾及各類疾病(例如骨科、腦科、心肺科、外科、內科、兒科、老人科、婦產科、腫瘤科及精神科等) 的患者。


Examples of Physiotherapy Services



Example 1: Care of repetitive stress injury of spine and pain management


For neck pain and low back pain, physiotherapy is helpful in pain control and relief, protective care and relapse prevention.
The following modalities are commonly used: traction therapy, manual therapy, electrotherapy, heat and cryotherapy, exercise therapy, acupuncture, stretching and muscle strengthening exercise.



Example 2: Care of sports injury 例二:運動創傷物理治療


Sports physiotherapy targets to serve elite or
amateur athletes. The general objectives of the service
 are to improve performance, facilitate earlier
recovery, timely return to the game and prevent


Example 3: Neurological rehabilitation 例三:腦神經系統復康物理治療


The approach of physiotherapy in neurological rehabilitation is comprehensive and holistic.

The diseases management covers stroke, Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy and other patients.

The therapy extends from restoration of physical activity to prevention from complications and home environmental assessment.
By using the adaptive or compensatory method, the aim of the service is to help patients overcoming obstacles, ensuring patient can live independently as much as they should be and reducing the burden of the care-giver.




Example 4: Care of heart and lung diseases


The diseases management for heart and lung includes
chronic obstructive airways disease, pneumonia,
lung cancer and various heart diseases.

In order to prevent and treat complications after
surgical procedures,  different cardio-pulmonary
(related to heart and lung) therapy are introduced to
patient. It also enhances the function of heart and lung.
As a result, patients can have earlier recovery and
better qualify of life.



Example 5: Care of upper limbs and hand injury 例五:上肢及手部功能復康

The medical problem includes congenital and traumatic
upper limbs or hand diseases. Based on the age,
the occupation and functional status of the patient,
appropriate therapy are tailor made for patients 



Example 6: Care of Burn Injury 例六:燒傷復康


The beauty of physiotherapy to burn injury patient
is to promote wound healing, enhance the flexibility
of scar and improve joint mobility.
Electrotherapy such as ultrasound and
micro-current may be useful.

Exercise therapy and manual technique are useful
too in order to prevent joint stiffness and
muscle tightness.
The ultimate goal is to improve the mobility,
function and promote earlier return to community.


Example 7: Care of women’s health 例七: 婦產科物理治療:


Prenatal and postnatal exercise classes are provided
to pregnant women.
Right before and after production or during
hospitalization, physiotherapy will provide appropriate
 services , such as treatment of wrist pain,
low back pain, pelvis girdle pain, as well as
urinary or bowel incontinence .

A rehabilitation program is specially designed for
 women with breast cancer. The rehabilitation program
may reduce complications such as lymphoedema,
shoulder stiffness and promote healing after breast



Example 8: Care of Newborns, Children and Adolescent 例八:兒科物理治療:


The target clienteles are newborns, children and
adolescents.  The focus is on client’s health,
physical, mental development and growth issues.

For instance, the service includes cardiopulmonary
rehabilitation, weight management, promote physical
conditioning and enhance developmental milestone.

Example 9: Care of elderly 例九:老人科綜合物理治療

Physiotherapy provides comprehensive care of
the physical, psychological and cardio-vascular
conditioning for elderly.
For instance, the service includes fall prevention,
risk assessment, pain management, physical
re-conditioning, enhance self-care and maintenance
of good quality of life.




Commonly used methods and modalities:


Exercise therapy: 運動療法:
Exercise therapy:
Exercise is medicine. Such therapy is based on
the scientific advancement in biomechanics,
kinetic and kinematic and pathophysiology clinical
evidence study.
The ultimate goal is to improve cardio-pulmonary
conditioning, ranges of motion and muscle strength.
For example, cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation program.



Electrotherapy: 電療法:


Electrotherapy is based on the application of high,
medium and low frequency electrical current and
also wide spectrum of light wave to achieve
therapeutic effect.
The clinical outcome consists of anti-inflammation,
pain modulation, improve circulation, reduce swelling,
increase muscle strength and … etc.
The electrotherapy machine and operation procedure
which used by physiotherapist in Hong Kong is
following the stringent safety standard as governed
by international and Hong Kong law.
For example, shockwave, interferential therapy,
shortwave diathermy, etc.



Hydrotherapy: 水療:


Hydrotherapy is applying the unique property of water
including buoyancy, resistance and temperature
to attain the treatment effect such as improving joint
range of motion, promoting circulation, easing muscle
spasm and modulating pain.
Moreover the buoyancy, resistance could also
strengthen the muscle power and facilitate balance
For example, use of buoyancy in swimming or
hydrotherapy pool to facilitate low back exercise.



Manual therapy 手力治療:


Manual therapy in Hong Kong is characterized by
the integration of modern Chinese and advanced
Western scientific approach. The following therapeutic
 outcomes exhibit: joint mobilization, muscle and
ligament lengthening, correction of spine alignment
and enhance functional movement restoration.

For example, manual therapy to low back pain.



揉合中、西方手力治療的專業治療方法,主要療效為鎮痛、舒整關節及筋腱,以促進功能的恢復。 例如:腰部關節舒整治療




Motion and gait analysis training 平衝和步態評估及鍛鍊:


The pattern of how a person walks is called the gait.
Different types of walking problems occur without
a person's control. Most, but not all, are due to
a physical condition. Physiotherapists use observational
or instrumental motion analysis method to identify the
problem and design a training program accordingly.
Instrumental motion analysis is aided with high speed
camera, electromyogram and force platform to collect
the data which related to the motion and gait cycle.
The data will then processed by computer to produce a
report for easier decision making.



Physical reconditioning and functional capacity evaluation 體適能評估及訓練:


Physical reconditioning and functional capacity
evaluation are used to identify the physical condition
 deficit, design the training program and evaluate
the ability of the client in order to facilitate
returning to work or normal daily activities.
In the case of low back pain patient who clinically
presents with back muscle wasting and physical
deconditioning after prolonged bed rest.
Physiotherapists use resistive exercise, work simulation
 and aerobic exercise to improve muscle strength,
working posture and habit as well as cardio-pulmonary
function correspondingly.
For example, physical reconditioning and functional
capacity evaluation for low back pain patient.



Acupuncture 針灸治療:


HKPA is a designated organization to provide
accreditation by Hong Kong Law for physiotherapist
acupuncture practitioner. Physiotherapists in
Hong Kong are using modern acupuncture practice
which is emphasized on scientific evidence-based support. Acupuncture is commonly used for pain management, improve muscle strength and enhance soft-tissue healing.
For example, acupuncture for tennis elbow.



Physiotherapy in community and primary health care  家居/ 社區健康 物理治療:


Patient empowerment is one of the themes in community
and primary health care physiotherapy.
The goal of physiotherapy health education is
to promote healthy life style and manage risk
in certain decease group such as obesity,
hypertension and diabetes through physical
conditioning and resistive exercise.
Fall prevention program is also an example in
the care of elderly.


例如:家居評估及治及 社區活動能力訓練。

Assorted Physiotherapy Service: 其他服務:


Apart from the previously mentioned physiotherapy
services, physiotherapy may also include traditional
cold and thermal therapy, use of advanced assistive
technology, biofeedback and ergonomic, robotic therapy,
diagnostic ultrasound scanning, virtual reality
technology and transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Physiotherapist may also provide clinical education
and intelligent transfer to other health care
providers such as nurse and health care assistant.
For the general public, physiotherapists  deliver
consultation service, seminar and workshop according
to the specific topics such as stretching exercise
and prevention of musculoskeletal pain for office worker.



Physiotherapy for neonate, children and adolescent 兒童物理治療:


With respect to heart and lung diseases
(e.g. pneumonia and asthma), cardiac rehabilitation
and chest physiotherapy will be indicated.
Physiotherapy for the children with neurological
and developmental problems such as cerebral palsy,
Down’s syndrome and developmental delay aim at
catching developmental mile-stone and promoting physical


例如:兒童健體班的水療運動、 初生嬰兒胸肺治療及 兒童步態訓練。

Physiotherapy for senior citizen 老人科綜合治療:


Aging population is a common phenomenon all over
the world. Physiotherapy care for elderly is using
holistic approach which includes training of physical
fitness, mental health, and balance and fall prevention.
 The goal is to maintain meaningful, respectful and
enjoyable life despite of inevitable aging process.


為年老人仕提供全人健康的治療,包括身心、體力、平衡和預防摔趺等鍛鍊,達致老有所為的目標。 例如:老人肢體鍛鍊。  
Physiotherapy for osteoporosis 骨質疏鬆綜合治療:


Deceleration of calcium loss from bone and
symptomatic relief are the objectives of physiotherapy
management for osteoporosis.
The intervention includes pain management, good
postural control, exercise therapy and vibration
therapy. The patient empowerment activities such as
 health care seminar and exercise class are the
platforms to promote self-care and symptom management


例如:軀體姿勢改善伸展運動及 專題講座。

Physiotherapy provided at home 家居物理治療:


Domiciliary or community physiotherapy service
indicates physiotherapy takes place at patients’
home. It may be more accessible for the one who is
not feasible to travel to ambulatory care facilities
such as an out-patient clinic.
The characteristic of such kind of service is that
the intervention is tailor-made to the resident’s
needs with reference to environmental limiting factors.
 The beauty of such care model is allowing earlier
integration of patients to their community.


例如:家居評估及治及 社區活動能力訓練。