Physiotherapy (or physical therapy) is defined as the treatment of disease by physical exercise, massage, or other manipulative body-based methods — not drugs. Wikipedia has a good overview.

Cochrane has judged the evidence.

After reviewing 21 studies they concluded, “There is evidence that physiotherapy intervention, using a mix of components from different approaches, is significantly more effective than no treatment or placebo control in the recovery of functional independence following stroke.”

In addition, when used to promote recovery of lower limb function or postural control — as measured by improved leg strength, balance, walking speed, or the ability to perform everyday tasks — no single approach to physiotherapy was superior to any other method.

5/9/07 19:39 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.