Physiotherapists practice rehab medicine, which focuses on restoring of function (being able to go back to your activities of daily living). One way to think of it is a drugless treatment (exercise is medicine) of different medical conditions. They work with patients from all age groups, with a wide variety of conditions. Treatment can include health promotion and prevention, acute care and rehabilitation, to disability and disease management. Physiotherapist work with their patients to improve and maintain optimal functional independence and physical performance, and help them manage condition that causes limitations to their activities using therapeutic exercise programs and other modalities.
Physician Assistants practice the same medicine physicians do, which focuses on assessment, diagnosing, treatment and prevention of disease to maintain good health (across different body systems). PAs may prescribe physiotherapy, however are not involved in the extensive work physiotherapists do with their patients (hands on care, modalities, etc.). However, unlike physiotherapy there are different operative and non-operative treatments we are looking at: medications, surgery, diagnostic/therapeutic intervention (e.g. a cortisone injection), referral to a specialist etc.