Physical Therapy vs. Physiotherapy: What are the key differences?

While physical therapy and physiotherapy share many similar afflictions and treatments, the underlying philosophy of each practice is different. In this article, the team at Knead Wellness will outline the major similarities and differences between each, to help you determine which treatment set is right for you.

However, it should be noted that neither physical therapists nor physiotherapists are cleared to prescribe medications. Also, know that the team at Knead Wellness is standing by to help you determine the best course of treatment for whatever ails you.

Physical therapist vs physiotherapist: What are the key differences?

While physiotherapy takes an approach considered to be more hands-on through the use of assisted stretching and soft tissue release, physical therapy relies more on special. exercises for improving strength and balance.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy’s purpose is to remedy acute and chronic pain so a person can enjoy their life and perform the necessary actions to serve as a functioning member of society.

Physical therapists are typically sought after someone starts getting pain in the wake of an accident, surgery or other medical procedure. You can find physical therapists working in rehab centres, gyms, nursing homes and hospitals.

chiropractic adjustment

What is physiotherapy?

What does physiotherapy do? Physiotherapists will take a full-body approach to treating their patients. Do you have back pain issues? A physiotherapist will review how other parts of your body may be affecting that particular area, and advise the best way to recover full mobility and relieve pain.

They will treat pain that comes as a result of ageing, health conditions, sports injuries and much more. Again, you can find physiotherapists in several medical environments including rehab centres, nursing homes, hospitals and fitness facilities.

Types of therapies

Let’s take a closer look at the types of therapies utilized by physiotherapists and physical therapists respectively.

Physical therapy

Physical Exercise: Patients learn how to slowly get back to moving parts of their body the way they did before they suffered an injury. Exercises can be done in the clinic setting and at home.

Hot And Cold Therapies: Heat packs, cold packs, nitrogen and even cryogenics can be used to bring down swelling and relieve pain.

Class IV Laser Therapy: Innovative technology can be safely used to decrease inflammation and increase the flow of blood.

Ultrasound Treatment: Ultrasound machines utilize sound waves that send vibrations through the various muscle systems experiencing discomfort, this will increase the flow of oxygens, blood, and other components needed to provide ample heat to muscle tissue that’s been damaged.


So, what does a physiotherapist do, exactly? Physiotherapy typically relies on the therapist’s hands and manual treatment to help patients find the relief that they desire. This relaxes stiff musicals and increases blood flow as necessary.

Massage: Helps to stimulate soft tissues, elevate circulation and lessen pain helping the patient to relax.

Soft Tissue Techniques: Massage-like technique that includes stretching and myofascial release.

Joint Mobilization and Manipulation: Control pain while improving joint function and motion by moving joints in a manner often described as “gliding”.

Physical Therapist Exercises

Exercise is the foundation of feeling your best generating healthy habits. Moving all of your body’s parts regularly increases strength, function, and mobility. Carefully following the advice of your physical therapist will ensure an elevated quality of life and that you won’t soon lose the ability to do activities around home or your favorite hobbies with friends. Here are a few examples of exercise types that your physical therapist may test with you at the office and encourage you to repeat at home.

Strength and movement exercises: Your physical therapist will offer various exercises tailor-made for specific body parts to help you keep control, improve balance and maintain posture as you age.

Full-body exercises: If you want to keep great movement and excellent muscle motion, then taking on a full-body exercise such as walking or swimming can significantly help maintain your strength.

Hydrotherapy: To build strength and support your muscles and joints, any type of water exercise can help you achieve your fitness and physical therapy goals.


Discover the transformative power of physiotherapy at Knead Wellness, where our dedicated team of professionals is committed to your well-being. With a focus on physiotherapy, we provide comprehensive services to help you heal, regain mobility, and improve your quality of life at any age.

Whether you’re recovering from an accident or seeking to maintain your mobility well into your golden years, our expert physiotherapists are here to guide you on your path to optimal health. At Knead Wellness, we prioritize your healing journey and are eager to assist you from the moment you walk through our doors.

By booking your first appointment and consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to meet our skilled wellness professionals. They will conduct a thorough evaluation of your current condition, ensuring a quick and safe assessment. Working closely with you, our team will create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, charting a course to recovery that aligns with your goals.

Don’t wait any longer to take control of your health. Call us today to embark on your healing journey with Knead Wellness. Experience the benefits of physiotherapy and start feeling better today.

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