Physical Therapy vs. Physiotherapy: The Key Differences, Explained


Between 2020 and 2030, physical therapist positions could grow by 21%. But what exactly does a physical therapist do? And how do they differ from physiotherapists?

If you’ve found yourself wondering these questions or investigating these services, stick around. We’ll dive into physical therapy vs. physiotherapy. Let’s explore the differences.

What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy involves exercises that ease pain and improve mobility. Often physical therapy helps improve someone’s physical functioning on a day-to-day basis. Physical therapy is particularly common after an injury or surgery.

Physical therapists receive extensive training and medical licenses. In some cases, they may diagnose patients. For the most part, however, doctors will send you to a physical therapist after a diagnosis.

Physical therapists focus on restoring and maintaining physical function and promoting physical activity.

What Is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy may involve some physical therapy techniques, but it generally includes more. Like physical therapy, physiotherapy focuses on treating physical ailments, injury, or disease.

Unlike physical therapy, physiotherapy can also involve more techniques. These might look like massage or joint manipulation. Physiotherapy is often an element of a holistic approach to health and well-being.

So, What Is the Difference Between Physical Therapy and Physiotherapy?

Both disciplines focus on treating physical ailments through movement. But they each have a different approach. They strive to improve the body’s physical condition, but they use different techniques.

Physiotherapy leans toward more manual, hands-on therapies. Physical therapy, on the other hand, encourages more exercise and physical movement.

You may also find these treatment options in different settings. Physical therapy, for example, is often a private, outpatient process. You could start seeing a physical therapist regardless of a medical diagnosis.

Physiotherapy may be more common in hospital settings. It often treats post-operative physical conditions and other more urgent situations.

Physiotherapy or Physical Therapy?

You might have to decide between physiotherapy and physical therapy. If you’re in this position, there are some aspects you can consider.

You should focus on where you want to receive treatment as well as the type of treatment you might like to receive. As mentioned before, physiotherapists usually work more often in hospital settings. Your doctor might refer you to one.

Physical therapists work more often in private clinic settings, and you may find one on your own. Also, if you’re seeking more active treatment, physical therapy might be right for you. If you would like more hands-on treatment, you may enjoy the benefits of physiotherapy.

Also, patients often see physiotherapists for a shorter amount of time. Physical therapy can be a more long-term solution.

You should always feel free to view more information about these treatment options. Visit websites or call any clinics or professionals you’re considering.

Physical Therapy vs. Physiotherapy

Knowing the differences between physical therapy vs. physiotherapy gives you the power. You can seek out the treatment option that will work the best for you. If you still have questions, reach out to your doctor or another medical professional. They can comment on your situation.

If you found this post helpful, make sure to check out our other Health & Fitness posts!