New patients text “Appt” to 714-377-4314 to schedule an Evaluation! 

Physiotherapy vs. physical therapy: Is there a difference and how can they benefit you?



Schedule an AppointmentView Services

Looking for injury treatment services to boost your wellness journey? When it comes to improving your physical health, finding top care is essential. As you search for care, you may come across a lot of different terminology. Sometimes terms that are similar but different can lead to confusion. Examples of this include the terms “physiotherapy” and “physical therapy.” When sources use these two terms, it is often difficult to tell what makes each distinct from the other. While they are often used interchangeably, sometimes there are important differences. In some cases, physiotherapy and physical therapy can refer to two distinct approaches to wellness. Understanding the differences can help you find care that matches your needs.

Differences between physiotherapy and physical therapy

Physical therapy and physiotherapy have much in common. In fact, many medical sources do not make a distinction. Both approaches share the goal of helping patients recover from injuries. Both can also focus on improving a patient’s physical condition. Rehabilitation and pain management are central to physiotherapy and physical therapy. However, there are some key differences.

Physiotherapy tends to refer to a more holistic full-body treatment strategy. Physiotherapy specialists look at how different systems in the body interact and influence each other. While a holistic approach can be important in physical therapy as well, the focus is especially strong in physiotherapy. The term “physical therapy” is sometimes used specifically for treatments that focus on individual regions of the body. For example, traditional physical therapy may be applied to manage hand and wrist pain. Each treatment provider may provide slightly different definitions of these terms. Want to make sure you are receiving comprehensive treatment? It is important to find a provider that offers the services associated with both physiotherapy and physical therapy.

Benefits of physiotherapy

  • Holistic approach — Physiotherapy treats the body as an interconnected system. This makes it well equipped to treat issues that affect multiple parts of the body. A specialist can look at your condition and examine how different areas affect each other. For example, chronic knee pain can be caused by issues in the feet or in the upper legs. Spreading tension and muscular imbalances can lead to symptoms outside the injury site. A holistic approach to treatment can counter these symptoms with a rigorous full-body approach. This can also lead to more lasting results, because it addresses the underlying issues rather than only the symptoms.

  • Hands-on emphasis — Physiotherapists and physical therapists both use manual therapy techniques. However, the term “physiotherapy” sometimes refers to practices where these techniques are emphasized. Manual therapy is when a physical therapist manipulates specific joints with their hands. This kind of treatment can reduce tension and pain. Techniques like myofascial release can be used to restore mobility as well. Other hands-on approaches such as the Graston Technique® apply special tools to your treatment. The Graston Technique involves tools designed to provide pressure in specific parts of the body. In addition to managing pain, this technique can be excellent for speeding up recovery time.

Benefits of physical therapy

  • Targeted rehabilitation — Are you struggling with a highly specific condition? Physical therapy can help. Physical therapy includes many specialized techniques for those who need focused rehab treatment. A physical therapist can work closely with you to address the unique challenges of your injury. With a gradual approach, you can build a solid foundation of strength and stability as you recover. Physical therapy’s ability to be specialized means you can receive care tailored to your unique needs.

  • Improved strength and flexibility — Physical therapy treatment plans often include exercises and stretches. These activities are designed to enhance muscle strength, flexibility and range of motion. You can also learn about proper body mechanics, which can reduce the risk of re-injury. The physical training side of PT can be great for patients looking to restore their capabilities.

Experience the power of physiotherapy and physical therapy techniques at REPAIR SI

Physiotherapy and physical therapy can sometimes refer to slightly different approaches. A well-rounded approach to care will incorporate the best aspects of both. At REPAIR SI, we strive to offer top-quality care through a range of techniques and modalities. Our team includes doctors in acupuncture and PT, making our institute one of a kind. When you attend sessions, you can use the equipment at our cutting-edge facility. This is where we integrate physiotherapy or physical therapy to keep patients healthy.

Contact our team today for more information about PT or to schedule an initial appointment.