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Physiotherapy and exercise therapy

Sometimes it’s difficult to move, because your body hurts or is no longer functioning the way it used to. A physiotherapist specialises in the human musculoskeletal system and can help you.  

Physiotherapeutic treatment may consist of exercise therapy, manual treatment (such as massage or manipulation) and the use of specific equipment. In addition, physiotherapists will use their expertise to inform and advise you about your recovery and the things you can do to prevent new and recurring symptoms in the future.

There are several specialties within the field of physiotherapy. You can find detailed descriptions (in Dutch) on


You can refer yourself to a physiotherapist. You don’t need a GP referral. A physiotherapist is trained to make an accurate diagnosis. If your physiotherapist isn’t sure whether they can provide the care you need, you will be referred to your GP. The physiotherapist will ask for your permission to share information with your GP. If you consent, your physiotherapist will report their findings to your GP, who will take these into account when treating other symptoms.

You can find a physiotherapist near you on the following websites (all in Dutch): defysiotherapeut, Keurmerk Fysiotherapie or zorgkaartnederland.


In general, basic health insurance doesn’t cover physiotherapy for recently developed symptoms. You either need to have additional insurance or pay for the consultations yourself. Basic insurance does cover physiotherapy for some conditions and treatment plans. In most of these cases, a referral from your GP or another doctor is required. The website offers reliable information (in Dutch) about basic insurance coverage of physiotherapy. You can contact your health insurer to discuss your personal situation and find out which additional insurance policies they offer. 


  • (Sports) injuries
  • Pain and other muscle or joint problems
  • Rehabilitation after surgery
  • Balance problems
  • (Chronic) conditions that require medically supervised exercise therapy

A physiotherapist can also help you with issues such as persistent or recurring headaches, pelvic floor problems, problems with chewing or opening your mouth, or general mobility problems combined with stress or other difficult personal circumstances.