If you are just starting out as a physiotherapist it is a bit of a daunting task. Finding the right equipment is extremely important and can be an extremely expensive thing to do.

Body Tape Measure

A very important piece of equipment used for taking body measurements and one that you will use for many, many patients. So basic that it is easily overlooked when setting up.

Therapy Ball

Great for stretching and exercises for clients, used in Yoga, Pilates for building core strength and stability. This will be an invaluable piece of equipment that you will have to have for anyone that is practising. 

You may want to get a few different sizes of these as you should use one that fits each patient. 

A Therapy ball is also great for treating lower back pain. So most likely this is one piece of equipment that you will be using to teach patients how to do some exercises specific to their situation and then refer them on to buy one. Or sell them one yourself. 

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are something you will need to use as a consumable as you will most likely give or sell them to your patients but you should always have plenty of them available in your practice as they can be used for so many different stretches and exercises.

There are many different strengths of resistance bands that come in different colours, we would recommend finding some good quality bands and getting in a whole bunch of them. They are also quite cheap especially when you buy them in bulk.

Foam Rolls

Whether a patient has back pain or needs to massage specific muscles foam roller can be a great option. While their effectiveness is disputed and not exactly known, they are still used by many physio and fitness professionals so there must be some benefits to them.

If you want to do some localized stretching they are great for this. Used as a general tool much like a therapy ball but on a smaller scale, they are great for many different uses. You can find some more information on foam rolls here.

Treatment Tables

A basic essential that any physical therapist needs. All physiotherapists should have at least one of these just to perform simple work on their patients.

Finding adjustable tables and potentially one suited to the type of work you will be doing is very important. You should think about the type of work, and patients you will have and get ones specialized for that purpose. 

Large Therapy Mirror

This one is so often overlooked in the setup of a physiotherapy clinic, but it’s so useful for showing patients what they need to do. Much like the large mirror in a GYM it really helps with form and technique when teaching patients.

You will want to install a large floor to ceiling mirror on one wall of your practice so that you can show your patients good technique for improving their movement. 

This goes for anything from walking, running, weight lifting, and more. Don’t overlook this one. 

Body Weight Scales

Knowing your patients’ weight so that you can make good measurements and have a quality conversation about their physical health is essential. 

While this can be a pain point for some people that are very self-conscious about their weight it is vital that it is discussed. 

A good medical scale is an essential piece of basic equipment for any physiotherapist.

Exercise bike

alt: exercise bike

Recumbent bikes are a great basic piece of training equipment for physiotherapy. While you may want to suggest to your patients to get one, they are great to have in your practice. 

They are great because they allow muscles and tendons to be exercised and strengthened without excessive strain on damaged or sore muscles, ligaments and joints.

Treadmill

While not as gentle as a recumbent bike a treadmill is also a must, whether you are helping someone improve their running technique or teaching someone to walk again a treadmill is an invaluable piece of gear that will allow you to do so much great work with your patients. 

Summary

We hope this list helps you get started with the basic physical therapist equipment. The options for physiotherapy equipment truly is truly endless. There are so many different machines and tools that you can get for all manner of different specialties. There are some of these that you will probably want to get along the way but there are still basic items that will work for many many patients. 

Like most things in life, you can do 80% of the work with merely 20% of the equipment. 

If you would like some more information about starting your own practice, then you can find some more information about the basic setup here.

Author: Eddie Tenner
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