How Are Physical Therapy and Physiotherapy Different From Each Other?

Are physical therapy and physiotherapy the same thing?

 “Do I need physiotherapy or physical therapy?

You have come to the right place if you can relate to the above-mentioned queries. 

The debate of physical therapy vs physiotherapy has been going on since time immemorial. This blog intends to end the debate right here. Read on to know the truth. 

Physical Therapy vs Physiotherapy 

Both adopt a holistic approach to treating musculoskeletal and nervous system conditions. The end goal of both treatments is to promote good health and well-being of individuals. Thus, though there is a fine line between these two fields, people often use them interchangeably. In Canada, physical therapy and physiotherapy mean the same thing. 

So, what’s the thin line about?

The difference between the two lies in their way of treating patients. Physical therapy, for instance, is more exercise-based whereas physiotherapy is about manual techniques. Let’s understand the subtle difference between the two so you can clear your confusion. 

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy consists of patient-centric exercises that help reduce chronic pain, inflammation and mobility problems. Physical therapists are licensed medical professionals who diagnose physical abnormalities, restore normal function and promote the patient’s well-being. 

What is physiotherapy? 

Physiotherapy is the science of movement. This special field of healthcare focuses on relieving a wide variety of conditions that cause pain, discomfort and mobility issues. Physiotherapists are trained movement experts who help people stay active, prevent injuries and restore normal mobility through manual therapies, lifestyle changes and patient education. 

Which techniques are used in physical therapy?

Physical exercise is the main technique in physical therapy. The exercises differ depending on the patient’s source and severity of the injury. The purpose of exercises is to relax, contract and strengthen the injured muscles. 

There are other treatments involved too. Applying heat and cold therapy is one of them. The physical therapist may also suggest infrared heat to bring you relief. 

Which techniques are used in physiotherapy?

The techniques in physiotherapy focus on soft tissue manipulation, muscle strengthening and relaxation and joint mobility. The common treatments include IMS, joint mobilization and manipulation, osteopathy, kinesiology and more. 

The physiotherapist assesses your injury through physical tests and determines what’s exactly causing the problem. They customize the treatment plan based on your symptoms to bring you maximum relief.

Who needs physical therapy? 

Physical therapy is the best treatment option for improving balance and coordination and strengthening muscles. You may also opt for physical therapy to stay active amidst a sedentary lifestyle. 

Who needs physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is recommended for athletes to boost their sports performance. It is also a perfect treatment option for patients with chronic pain symptoms and mobility issues. The most common conditions treated are Golfer’s Elbow, Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, muscle strain, etc. 

Which One Should You Choose?

In general, there are no differences between physical therapy and physiotherapy. Most physiotherapy clinics provide physical therapy as a part of their services to uncover the maximum potential of individuals. Both modes of treatment promote your good health and well-being.

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