BPhysio Physiotherapy UP

BPhysio Physiotherapy UP

                                                      Description of the study programme

Physiotherapy is a complementary health care profession, and the degree is completed in four years of full-time study. Students are trained in exercise therapy, electrotherapy, massage therapy, musculoskeletal therapy and the education of patients to restore or promote the normal physical functioning of the individual.
Electrotherapy modalities are used mainly to alleviate pain and swelling and to increase the blood supply in order to influence the pathological processes in the body. Soft tissue such as muscle, skin and scar tissue are mobilised during massage to alleviate pain and muscular spasm, reduce swelling, improve circulation and soften scar tissue. Musculoskeletal therapy is used to treat jointrelated problems in the vertebral and peripheral joints. Pulmonary physiotheraphy improves lung function.

                                                      Programme content

The four years consist of theoretical, practical and clinical training in basic medical sciences and in physiotherapy. An additional community year, which does not form part of the university training, is compulsory. Exercise therapy includes specialised techniques to strengthen muscles, mobilise stiff joints and facilitate normal movement patterns. Patients are taught coordinated and skilled movement patterns to render them as functional and independent as possible. Principles of treatment are applied to patients with neurological problems, spinal cord injuries and sportsmen alike

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BPhysio Physiotherapy UP

                                                                Community service

An informed community is a healthy community. Consequently much time is spent in instructing patients and those who care for them. An example of this is the training of good posture in adults and children in order to prevent subsequent conditions such as backache and weak back and abdominal muscles. Patients are also taught to monitor their own health and to be physically active. Community-based training of undergraduate students takes place in the communities of Mamelodi, Hammanskraal, Daspoort and Eersterust, various homes for the aged in Pretoria, and the Sports Centre of the University of Pretoria.


Students at undergraduate level are already given the opportunity to become acquainted with the research process under the guidance of staff members. Research is essential for the development of the profession. Therefore, a proactive research environment at undergraduate and postgraduate level in the department enjoys a high priority

BPhysio Physiotherapy UP

                                                                Career opportunities

Employment opportunities for physiotherapists are available in hospitals, schools for children with special needs, mining clinics and industrial clinics and hospitals. Opportunities also exist in private practice, the South African National Defence Force, homes for the aged, local government bodies (municipal clinics) and sports centres.

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                                                               Contact details

Bafana Sihlali Tel: +27 (0)12 354 1352/2024 Email: bafana.sihlali@up.ac.za