Behind every great sports hero is a great physiotherapist, waiting just out of sight with an ice pack and a can of Deep Heat.

These are the men and women who dash into shot to banish a crippling cramp or a strained hamstring.

But you don’t need to be an elite athlete to require the services of a physio.

There are hundreds of ways we ordinary mortals can injure ourselves in day-to-day life and it’s a fine physio who will get us back in tip-top shape.

Physios are the everyday heroes who step in when our physical movement is affected not just by accident or incident but by longterm illness or disability.

These no-nonsense professionals diagnose and assess physical problems. They then devise programmes of treatment that can include massage, specific exercises and electrotherapy.

For some a few focused sessions will sort us out, for others treatment will be over a longer term.

So what does it take to make it asa physiotherapist?

Well, what all good physios have in common are great communication skills and bags of patience. The key to a successful treatment is persuading a patient to carry out repetitive (dare we say boring!) exercises on a regular basis to improve strength and movement.

This means the ability to motivate patients to keep at it is a prized talent.

In terms of training, you’re going to need a degree under your belt for starters. You can choose to follow an undergraduate degree in physiotherapy or complete a masters in the subject.

In order to practice you’ll need to register with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Once qualified, one thing is for sure; there will always be demand for your skills.

As your career develops, you can choose to specialise in one particular area such as sports therapy, which could see you travel the world with a national team.

Alternatively, you could work with kids living with a disability and help them maximise every opportunity for active fun and a full life.

And an ageing population means the demand for your skills to address age-related conditions has never been higher.

The majority of physios are employed by the NHS but there are plenty of opportunities to work in private health care centres or sports clubs. If you have an entrepreneurial streak you could even become self-employed and set up your own business.

Salaries average from £22,000 for the newly qualified to £41,000 for an experienced pair of hands.