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There’s often confusion regarding the difference between physiotherapy and physical therapy. But in Canada, there is no discernable difference between physiotherapy and physical therapy.

The two terms can be used interchangeably, and you may see the abbreviation “PT” used in place of “physical therapy”.

The following will help you understand the skills, techniques, and approaches used in physiotherapy and physical therapy.

The Difference Between Physiotherapy And Physical Therapy

What Is Physiotherapy And Physical Therapy?

Physiotherapy is a method of treatment with a primary focus on movement. It can include a wide range of goals that include the following:

  • Injury prevention;
  • Rehabilitation after illness or injury;
  • Management of acute and chronic conditions; and
  • The promotion of health and fitness.

The purpose of physiotherapy is to restore, improve, and maximize the patient’s range of motion, physical strength, function, and overall wellbeing.

Physiotherapy is an integrative treatment method. Professionals at a physiotherapy clinic are trained to identify and isolate the root causes of health issues rather than simply addressing the symptoms.

Physical therapists take the patient’s lifestyle into account when prescribing a treatment plan, and the patients are expected to take an active role in their own progress.

What Conditions Can Be Treated At A Physiotherapy Clinic?

Patients may be referred to a physiotherapy clinic to help treat a variety of conditions, including musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiorespiratory, cancer, and orthopedic issues.

Physical therapists treat patients with musculoskeletal issues, such as back strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and neck pain. They also work with patients to prevent these issues from occurring in the future.

Clients who suffer from neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain damage, and spinal cord injuries can benefit from physiotherapy. The physical therapist can work with patients to help improve their movement and quality of life.

Physiotherapy can assist those who suffer from asthma, coronary artery disease, and other diseases or injuries that affect the heart and lungs to help them regain and improve mobility.

Physical therapy helps cancer patients by managing the fatigue, muscle rigidity, pain, and joint stiffness that can accompany chemotherapy treatments.

Physiotherapy increases the mobility of clients with orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis, knee replacements, torn ligaments, hip fractures, amputations, and others.

What Should I Expect From A Visit To A Physiotherapy Clinic?

Every visit to a physiotherapy clinic is unique, as it’s based on the specific needs of each individual patient.

Your physical therapist will assess your medical history and create a treatment plan to help you reach your physical goals.

If you’d like to enhance your mobility and overall well-being, physiotherapy may be the right option to help you overcome health challenges and achieve an optimal level of wellness for the future.


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