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Palliative Physiotherapy

In Nova Scotia, few people receiving palliative care get referred to physiotherapy. This isn't the case in other regions - in many parts of Canada, physiotherapy is considered an integral part of palliative care, given the many ways in which physiotherapists can support patients and families receiving palliative care.


Most people visit physiotherapists in an effort to reduce pain. Unfortunately most palliative clients struggle with pain management, and physiotherapy can help! A physiotherapist's job is to identify the factors contributing to each client's pain situation, and teach them strategies they can use to better manage pain. Such strategies might include:

  • Teaching a patient or their loved ones self-massage techniques or passive range of motion exercises

  • Helping people pace and adapt their activities so they can do as many of the things they want to do as possible, with the least amount of pain

  • Teaching people practices such as adapted yoga, tai chi, qi gong, range of motion exercises, and body awareness practices that can help them maintain their mobility and manage pain

  • Helping people acquire and set up the home healthcare equipment they need to safely manage their everyday activities (such as walking, bathing, dressing, etc.)

  • Teaching people about ergonomic and positioning strategies they can use to do activities more easily and comfortably

  • Teach helpful breathing practices

  • Teaching comfortable exercises that they can do to reduce stiffness, manage pain, and maintain their mobility

  • Teach strategies for improving sleep and managing fatigue

  • Physiotherapists can also use manual therapy to support pain management

Physiotherapists can also:

  • Help clients remain as strong, active, and mobile as possible throughout their palliative care journey,

  • Help prevent falls and injuries,

  • Teach clients techniques for managing incontinence and constipation, and

  • Help clients with respiratory challenges optimize their breathing

At Live Well Physiotherapy, we want to help you live well at every stage of life. We encourage you to call for a free consultation via phone to learn whether physiotherapy could help you or your loved one improve pain management, mobility, breathing, and quality of life.


(902) 877-6608


physio with a person with a walker

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