The best physiotherapists in Canberra


Grant Sutherland, principal physiotherapist and co-owner of Hawker Place Physio, one of Canberra’s most recommended physiotherapy practices. Photo: Region Media.

Sports injuries and other physical discomforts can be a real pain to get over. From chronic back aches to joint pain, slow muscle recovery or even post-surgery rehab, recovery can be particularly taxing when your discomfort prevents you from enjoying other aspects of your life, like work or social activities.

Whether you’re experiencing headaches, a sporting injury, knee pain or a complex illness like chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, a physiotherapist can assist in improving your condition in the short term, to then build up strength in the long term. A physiotherapist is a medical professional qualified to treat diseases, deformities and injuries through physical methodologies. These can include exercises, massage, hydrotherapy and heat treatment.

Finding a physiotherapist who you’re comfortable with can be a challenge – you want to feel like you can trust them to build a program that accounts for all your particular needs and comfort levels without crossing any physical or personal boundaries. But what qualities make a good physiotherapist, and where can you find the best in Canberra? In this article, we’ll break down a few key things to look out for when finding a physio, and a helpful guide to some of Canberra’s best.

What makes a great physiotherapist?

As with any other type of health professional, physiotherapists have different backgrounds, personalities and areas of expertise. To find one that’s compatible with you and your needs, we recommend keeping an eye out for the following traits:

  • Expertise and experience. The best therapists are lifelong learners. Finding a physio with up-to-date knowledge and qualifications is essential to ensuring you receive the best treatment possible, so make sure you ask your physiotherapist what kind of therapy work they’ve done before and if they are experienced with your type of injury.
  • Variety of therapy styles. The best physiotherapy practices offer a variety of different therapies so that they can treat all kinds of injuries, such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and Pilates classes. Finding a practice that can build a broad and holistic program to help you best recover from your injury, as opposed to a practice that can only offer massages and at-home exercises, can mean the difference between a short-term fix with more pain and discomfort in the future and a long-term solution that will help you build up strength.
  • Holistic approach. From sprained ankles to chronic back pain, all conditions affect multiple body systems in different ways. Look for a physiotherapist that takes a holistic approach, assessing and treating every system in the body, and is approaching your problems with the big, long-term picture in mind.
  • Ability to listen and understand your condition. Every patient is unique. A tailored approach needs to start with the ability to listen to each patient. If you feel your concerns aren’t being taken seriously, or you aren’t being heard, consider working with a different practitioner.
  • Compassion. It’s no secret that ill health can make us feel vulnerable. Your physio should be empathetic and compassionate so that you feel supported and really trust them to have your best interests at heart.

The best physiotherapists in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Hawker Place Physiotherapy and Pilates

Hawker Place Physiotherapy and Pilates

With over 30 years of experience, Hawker Place Physiotherapy and Pilates provides the highest standard of care in a safe, friendly and professional environment. From osteoporosis prevention to rehabilitating sporting injuries and treating pelvic floor conditions, Hawker Place Physiotherapy and Pilates’ qualified team uses evidence-based practices to assess, diagnose and treat every patient.

Hawker Place is one of Canberra’s only private physiotherapy practices with a qualified lymphoedema practitioner. You don’t need a referral, and appointments are usually available within 48 hours. It also offers evidence-based clinical pilates guided by APPI qualified physiotherapists, as well as small group and private therapeutic exercises classes.

The practice, which is conveniently located near Hawker Shops in Belconnen, takes online bookings. There is plenty of free parking nearby.

Ellebanna Eel wrote on RiotACT, “Hawker physio is amazing! I’ve seen Grant there and done Pilates. Incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and he’s the first physio I’ve seen who understands how injury, pain and movement impact real life… Effective, professional and wholistic.”

Unit 1 Playoust Building, 108 Hawker Place
Hawker ACT 2614
in.motion Physiotherapy

in.motion Physiotherapy

in.motion offers more than simply world class orthopaedic services. They boast a unique integrated medical approach providing a higher level of care tailored to their client’s individual needs. Front and centre of this integrated approach are the practice’s physiotherapy services.

in.motion offers the very latest in physiotherapy services and rehabilitative programs to support optimum joint health, rehabilitation, and sports injuries.

Alongside principal Dr Damian Smith, Kristen Steele operates as in.motion’s in-house physiotherapist. Passionate about health and fitness, Kristen believes that movement is a crucial component to strength and overall wellness.

Kristen Steele

 in.motion physiotherapist Kristen Steele. Photo: inmotion.

With over three decades in the healthcare and fitness industry Kristen brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the practice. Her training is as extensive as her experience, holding a Masters of Physiotherapy and double degree in Sports Management and Coaching Science.

Kristen is also a specialised trainer for acute and chronic health conditions, sports injury, and seniors. Importantly, Kristen is well connected to the industry at large as a registered AHPRA and APA Professional.

in.motion offers a range of specialised physiotherapist-led classes, each catering to individual needs and emphasising targeted movement to assist in joint health. Classes include clinical pilates, aquatic physiotherapy, and group exercise. Each offers its own set of unique health benefits to improve overall physical function.

Whether you are recovering from surgery, nursing a sports injury, managing arthritis, or looking for preventative care in.motion physiotherapy has it covered. For a professional and passionate team who strive to deliver life-changing results through integrated physiotherapy look to in.motion.

Alex Andra shared this great review on Facebook, Fantastic practice! Damian and his team are exceptionally professional, caring and thorough ..highly recommended!”

40-42 Corinna Street
Woden ACT 2606
Back in Strength

Back in Strength

Back in Strength, founded in 2011, provides physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and Pilates services.

It’s personalised physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation services helps patients overcome pain and regain movement, to live freer, healthier and happier lives. Back in Strength’s physiotherapists can assess, diagnose, treat and manage physical dysfunction.

At Back in Strength, physiotherapists use their clinical experience to diagnose the problem, working with the client to develop power and strength in movement. It tailors programs, treating back, neck and pelvis issues (chronic and acute). The studio is the first in Canberra to introduce Redcord, a tool for remedial therapy and those needing challenging core exercises.

Physiotherapists are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. All of their team are very experienced and skilled, plus you can make an appointment with Jean Lim, a physiotherapist from Singapore who is fluent in Mandarin

Open Monday to Saturday. Free parking and disability access.

mariahgwilko wrote on RiotACT, “Anne at Back in Strength at Deakin is incredible. Really takes the time to help create a program for you personally! They also have Pilates as well which helped with my issues.”

1/14 Hannah Place
Deakin ACT 2600

SportsTec Clinic

SportsTec Clinic is a multidisciplinary physiotherapy practice that strives to provide the best patient experience, evidence-based treatment and optimal clinical outcomes. In addition to offering physiotherapy services, its team also provides massage, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, pilates and nutritional guidance. Their centre boasts a cutting-edge gym and pilates studio, optimised to help you heal from any sports, dance or other injuries, as well as for strength training and rehabilitation. They’re also currently offering live online fitness classes and physio consults if you’re unable to make it to their location.

Jeanette Freedman-Chan wrote the following in their Google review, “Have been attending this clinic for 8 weeks and have excellent results in such a short amount of time. It is life changing.”

Origin Physiotherapy and Wellness

The team at Origin Physiotherapy and Wellness don’t like to think of themselves as practitioners at just another physiotherapy clinic. Instead, they’re a support network, with an approach built on the idea that people deserve the best support and care. Origin offers musculoskeletal services and women’s health physiotherapy. Its consultation times are longer than most other clinics and its ethos is education and managing change. Origin has a genuine passion for ​achieving exceptional outcomes for its clients, which it says deserve nothing less.

As Connor O’Byrne writes in their Google review, “By far the best physio practice I have been to. The staff are very knowledgeable and are committed to helping you achieve your goals. Definitely recommend seeing Origin for all your injury needs.”

Are you looking for more ways to improve your physical health? Check out our articles on the best Pilates studios in Canberra, the best acupuncturists in Canberra and the best Yoga Studios in Canberra for some useful information on our city’s top services.

Your experience with physiotherapists in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the physiotherapists listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a physiotherapist do?
A physiotherapist's job is to restore, maintain and improve upon their patients' physical well-being. They can also help train and prevent injuries for athletes. Physiotherapists use physical rehabilitation, injury prevention and strength and conditioning exercises to help their patients' overall fitness and well-being. Physiotherapy is not only useful to athletes or those of us with minor physical injuries - it's crucial for people with chronic physical illnesses, reduced motor function, or who are recovering from surgery and operations.
Why should I see a physiotherapist?
Physical injuries that are left untreated may lead to severe physical problems in the future. If you're experiencing constant or recurring physical pain, seeing a physiotherapist may help to address the pain, and work to relieve. Additionally, physiotherapy can be beneficial if you're an athlete, currently pregnant, or have recently had major surgery.
How long do I need to see a physiotherapist for?
This depends on what your issue is. If you find that after a few weeks your pain has gone, then your physiotherapist might recommend you work on some exercises at home but no longer need to continue appointments. However, athletes might want to consider seeing a physiotherapist regularly in order to prevent long term injuries. Whatever the case, your physiotherapist should have a good idea of what is necessary for you.
What types of physiotherapy are there?
Physiotherapy is an umbrella term for many types of physical therapies that are aimed at improving the long term well-being and functionality of your body. As different injuries require different types of treatments, you might find that some therapies work better than others. Hydrotherapy, for example, can be great for people with joint pain or muscle deterioration who need low-impact resistance training; massage may work well for people with hypertension in their muscles or limited mobility; and acupuncture can be suited to people suffering from chronic pain who need regular pain relief. Whatever your problem, there is a physical therapy - or a combination of therapies - that might help you.
Is a physiotherapist a doctor?
Technically speaking, no, unless they have completed the appropriate qualifications to be called a doctor. That being said, all physiotherapists have training in physiotherapy that qualifies them for the job. So, even though they don't necessarily have an MD, physiotherapists are able to diagnose your issues and provide treatments for them.

What's Your Opinion?

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62 Responses to The best physiotherapists in Canberra
mariahgwilko mariahgwilko 4:46 pm 03 Sep 20

Anne at Back in Strength at Deakin is incredible. Really takes the time to help create a program for you personally! They also have Pilates as well which helped with my issues.

Graeme Shields Graeme Shields 12:28 pm 02 Sep 20

Movehappy healthcare 100%

Ellebanna Eel Ellebanna Eel 7:15 am 01 Sep 20

Hawker physio is amazing! I've seen Grant there and done Pilates. Incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and he's the first physio I've seen who understands how injury, pain and movement impact real life, but also how treatment plays out in real life. Effective, professional and wholistic.

Nicole Frawley Nicole Frawley 9:26 pm 31 Aug 20

Hawker Place physiotherapy have always been amazing! Grant and the team are my extra support network! Congrats team!

Chris Hobbs Chris Hobbs 8:24 pm 31 Aug 20

Victoria at SportsCare and Physio at Bruce Health Hub.

Mary Linardis-Goulimis Mary Linardis-Goulimis 9:50 am 31 Aug 20

Movehappy at Erindale . Dave is the best for me.

Ganesh Suppiah Ganesh Suppiah 8:53 am 30 Aug 20

Accelerate Physiotherapy for sure

Mel Cole-lankinen Mel Cole-lankinen 11:24 pm 29 Aug 20

Higher Function - Physio. I had a hip replacement earlier this year they got me through both pre and post op. So supportive, professional they also run some amazing Pilates sessions.

Tony Awad Tony Awad 9:32 pm 29 Aug 20

Rob at origin Physio Deakin hands down the best.

Julie Stalker Julie Stalker 6:16 pm 29 Aug 20

PhysioSport O’Connor Shops ... great team! Helped my girls through sports injuries others could not address and now helping me recover from a fractured foot. Patient and appropriate care.

Norma Barakat Norma Barakat 5:16 pm 29 Aug 20

Rob from Origin Physio in Deakin is awesome! Highly recommend

Jessica Ewing Jessica Ewing 8:25 am 29 Aug 20

Southside Physio in Woden. Cameron is fantastic.

Ryan Lean Ryan Lean 8:17 am 29 Aug 20

I don’t believe there is anywhere in Canberra that can compete with the entire team at Powerhouse Physio, they really do look after you and will have you back to your best in no time.

Lesley Barber Lesley Barber 7:50 am 29 Aug 20

Movehappy is amazing, Dave Berg and his team are fantastic!!

Suzie Goodall Suzie Goodall 11:09 pm 28 Aug 20

Powerhouse Physio have an awesome team! 😬

Kirsty Noad Kirsty Noad 9:42 pm 28 Aug 20

Move Happy Erindale I went in on a walking stick, now I'm a like a different person, free of walking stick.🙏

Katrina Lane Katrina Lane 8:43 pm 28 Aug 20

Absolutely Dave Berg at Movehappy... his knowledge and accurate diagnosis is unbelievable. He has been significant with my recovery from back pain. Also Jim Zouch from Powerhouse physiotherapy at hockey centre Lyneham who has been instrumental in recovery of both my kids sporting injuries.

Claire Jaclyn Claire Jaclyn 8:04 pm 28 Aug 20

Active recovery was just wonderful! I got to see 3 different physios within the business and they're all amazing, but Kevin and James especially have great senses of humour and are unflappable in terms of interesting cursing when trying to increase range of motion following a broken arm 😁. Absolute winners!!

Bronnie Lumley Bronnie Lumley 5:57 pm 28 Aug 20

Adam Taylor and Jac Cousins at Canberra physiotherapy in Deakin are the best

Rachael Clark Rachael Clark 5:27 pm 28 Aug 20

Grant and the team at Hawker are amazing. Can not recommend them highly enough!

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