Is There A Difference Between Physiotherapy And Physical Therapy?

If you spend enough time researching physical therapy, or if you speak with different doctors from varying backgrounds, you will inevitably encounter a verbal bouquet of medical terminology. Some of these terms can be self-explanatory while others can prove to be quite confusing. One question that we at our therapeutic clinics encounter the most is the difference between physical therapy and physiotherapy. Since the two terms appear to be used exclusively by one professional, or interchangeably by another, clients tend to get confused by these terms and even begin to question if they’ve signed up for the right service. So, is there a difference between physiotherapy and physical therapy? We will discuss this question, and more, in the article below.

Is There a Difference?

The short answer is no. The two terms mean precisely the same thing, and by working with a professional who uses one term instead of the other will not have any effect on the level of care you receive, nor will it have any impact on your recovery. The variation, as with many other words or phrases we encounter, comes from geographical differences in language. The term “physical therapy” is the term widely used among American practitioners, and rarely will you encounter an American, or American-trained, doctor or therapist use the term “physiotherapy.” However, if your doctor was raised or educated in other regions such as Canada, India, Australia, or Europe then they will undoubtedly refer to it as physiotherapy since that is what the practice is customarily referred to as in those areas. If one had to identify a distinction, it could be said the doctors who use say physiotherapy identify the practice as a more manual therapy with a hands-on approach to recovery which focuses more heavily on exercising, stretching, soft tissue release, and joint mobility than any of the other methods.

What Do These Therapies Do?

Even if the subtle distinction is observed among the professionals you work with, both approaches to therapy strive for the same goals. Patients who are recovering from an injury or medical procedure are living with significant damage to their muscles or soft tissue areas, and were normally inactive for several weeks while they healed. Such prolonged periods of inactivity lead to weakness and stiffness in the muscles, and can have an impact on the range of motion in your joints, not to mention the notorious buildup of scar tissue that comes with it. Physical therapists will assess your physical condition, and design a combination of exercises, stretches, and other techniques to help rebuild those affected areas to help you return to your body’s full functionality that you enjoyed prior to your injury. These subtle techniques are designed to focus on specific areas of your body, and many times the exercises and stretches require precision and assistance, especially in the beginning, so it is always recommended that these activities be performed in the presence of your therapist, preferably in a one-on-one session.

Book An Appointment At Theradynamics!

Theradynamics is a physical therapy clinic offering a variety of therapeutic services for those in need. Our staff of licensed, trained professionals are fully equipped with the latest tools and techniques to maximize the rate of recovery, and provide each client with the proper amount of care and attention you need by accommodating one-on-one sessions and same-day appointments. Theradynamics has multiple convenient locations in the New York City area and New Jersey, and our dedicated staff is standing by ready to help you get started on the road to recovery. For more information about our clinic and our services, please visit our website and schedule your first appointment today.