Physiotherapist vs Physical Therapist: Is There a Difference in These Professions?

Physiotherapist vs Physical Therapist

The terms physiotherapist and physical therapist are similar, which can lead to confusion. It is common in Canada to see these professions’ names used almost interchangeably.

When it comes to physiotherapists vs physical therapists, is there a difference? Although these professions do much the same thing, there is a slight difference in their definition and approach. Keep reading to find out more.

Is There a Difference Between Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy?

There aren’t any discernable differences between a physiotherapist and a physical therapist.

The Canadian Health Protection Branch defines physiotherapy as any treatment which emphasizes joint mobilization, the restoration of functional movements and activities of a person to increase mobility.  

On the other hand, physical therapy treats disease, deformity, or injury using physical, drug-free, non-surgical methods, including massage, exercise, heat treatment, and hydrotherapy.

Essentially, there is no significant difference between the professions; you’ll find that a physiotherapist and a physical therapist do much the same thing.

Is Physiotherapy the Same as Physical Therapy?

Although physical therapy and physiotherapy have no major difference, they are not exactly the same. Both treatment methods focus on the body’s movement abilities but differ in their approach.

For example, physiotherapists’ services in Oakville believe in treating the whole person rather than simply addressing symptoms. They take a holistic and hands-on approach to healthcare, looking at the patient as a whole instead of just their physical symptoms.

On the other hand, physical therapists identify and treat the root causes of a health issue. Physical therapists consider the patient’s lifestyle when prescribing a treatment plan and expect the patients to take an active role in their progress.

Ultimately, a physiotherapist and physical therapist treat physical injuries and diseases like neck pain, knee pain, back pain, and more.

In addition, both professions offer a hands-on approach to treatment that aims to: 

  • Rehabilitate a patient after illness or injury
  • Prevent further injury
  • Manage both acute and chronic conditions
  • Promote health and fitness

What Diseases Does a Physiotherapist and Physical Therapist Treat?

Physiotherapy and physical therapy are important parts of recovery from injuries and illnesses, but their scope and goals differ.

If you’re suffering from asthma, coronary artery disease, or another condition that affects the heart and lungs, physiotherapy can help you regain and improve mobility. Meanwhile, if you have cancer, physical therapy can help manage the fatigue, muscle rigidity, pain, and joint stiffness that accompany chemotherapy treatments.

Contact Us Today to Learn More. 

Whether you are new to the OAK Physio and Wellness or have had physiotherapy or physical therapy here before, we have the strength and knowledge to help you achieve your rehabilitation goals.

While these two treatment methods are similar in many ways, there are also some key differences. If you’re interested in learning more about physiotherapy and how it differs from physical therapy, contact us today for more information about our physiotherapist vs physical therapist services. Come see us in Oakville, ON, or book an appointment now.