Physiotherapists are not Massage Therapists

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Physiotherapy and massage therapy are two distinct terms. But unfortunately, people align them on the same plane. It is imposing a bad impression on people’s minds about the worth of a physiotherapist. Massage therapists and physiotherapists, both are certified, professionals. It is not like doing MBBS and then opting for a field of specialization. They follow totally a different study line.

Physiotherapists deal the individuals who encountered body accidents and body ache. They employ diagnostic and therapeutic modalities or sometimes manual practice. While on the other hand, massage therapists employ the movements that are employed to control muscles and ligaments. 

Critical differentiation is based in the role of both therapists in diagnosis.

Physiotherapists try different treatment strategy so conduct a clinical evaluation differently. They consider the patient history, his current lifestyle, and his physical appearance. As he understands that the problem can be a consequence of an accident or tissue damage or joint illness.

Massage therapists assess any aspects of their patient life. They put less consideration on clinical investigations. They mainly focus on administrating hands-on treatment of massage therapy. They relieve anxiety, relax their patients, and effort encouraging health and curative.

We can conclude that physiotherapy is more concerned towards cure and rehabilitation whereas massage therapy offers instant relaxation from muscle spasms and ache.


Physiotherapy vs Massage Therapy 

How Physiotherapy helps you 

We make movements all day and sometimes get hit. Also as we age, diseases and injuries ratio increases. We feel our movements restricted because of reduced ROM. Our joints, muscles, and bones ache more than normally they do. If you go and visit a medical doctor, they prescribe you analgesics and characterize them as general body pain. The analgesics work as long as they stay in your body. Once they are excreted out, you again feel pain. Sometimes if you visit a good doctor, he suggests a visit to the physiotherapists because it is not his line of practice. Physiotherapy professionals will evaluate the cause of pain by doing a physical examination. After they have diagnosed the problem, they apply the appropriate treatment methods. 

Treatments vary as per the concerned diagnoses. Sometimes they go for therapeutic exercises and sometimes for functional training. 

Educational preferences of Physiotherapists: Many hold Master level degrees, and specialization in a specific clinical area. These areas encompass sports, pediatric, orthopedic, pulmonary, geriatric, cardiovascular, integumentary, palliative care, and women’s health.  


Medical Conditions Physiotherapist or Massage Therapists?
Arthritis Physiotherapist
Back or neck sprain Physiotherapist
Injuries  Physiotherapist
Multiple Sclerosis Physiotherapist
Fractures  Physiotherapist
Pain and stiffness  Massage Therapists
Depression Massage Therapist
Anxiety Massage Therapist


When to visit a Physiotherapist

  • When you feel pain and decreased ROM as a result of an occurrence. It can be a strain or an accident, etc. 
  • Undergone a surgery, need rehabilitation to get restored to normal life 
  • Looking forward to a physically active life
  • Learn to prevent injuries
  • Want to increase ROM (Range of Motion)


Types of physiotherapy

Physiotherapists can provide you effective treatments for several conditions and recovery time can be decreased once surgeries are done. There are several areas where physiotherapists can specialize as discussed earlier. Deep inside them, there are different areas of practice as well. These are:

  • Musculoskeletal (orthopedic physiotherapy) 
  • Neurological
  • Cardiothoracic 


Types of therapies

Every individual will experience the therapies as per their requirements. The wide range of therapies are encompassed under the following:

  • Manual therapies  
  • Exercise programs  
  • Electrotherapy techniques 


The job role of the physiotherapist

  • Every day a physiotherapist plays a different role. They make patient assessments, diagnose their problems, and implement a treatment plan. 
  • They do rehabilitation of their patients, make them walk again, make them learn to handle crutches, walking frames, and wheelchairs.
  • He educates their patients and their families to prevent injuries to help them lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • Physiotherapists deal with all manner of people. They deal with cerebral palsy, pregnant women, athletes, premature babies, people undergoing rehabilitation, elders, and people seeking help for heart disease, strokes, or major surgeries.


Common treatment provided by the Physiotherapists 

  • Exercise programs are designed for the sake of the client’s strength, ROM, and normal functioning of body parts
  • To reduce the pain and muscle stiffness, joint manipulation and mobilization techniques are employed
  • Patients who have a sort of breathing issues are provided airway clearance treatment
  • By doing pelvic floor physiotherapy, they manage the incontinence
  • Physiotherapists treat arthritis and sclerosis
  • Sports injuries, fractures, back and neck sprains are well handled
  • They do physiotherapy of the foot


Massage Therapists


How massage therapists help you

Massage therapists help you loosen up the stiff muscles and spasms. The techniques include percussion, kneading, friction, compression, friction, gliding, and passive or active stretching. 

Five Basic Techniques 

  • Effleurage (long, gliding strokes)
  • Petrissage (lifting and acupressure the muscles)
  • Tapotement (brisk tapping)
  • Friction (firm, circular motion rubbing movements)
  • Vibration (fast quaking or vibrating particular muscles)

The massage therapists are rarely the degree holders. Serotonin and dopamine levels are increased by massage therapy and they also stabilize your mood.


Benefits of Massage Therapists 

  • Chronic pain conditions are alleviated
  • Reduce muscle and joint ache caused due to occupational stresses 
  • Cut down uneasiness and depression 
  • Quality improvement in sleep


When to visit a Massage therapist

Plan a visit to a massage salon when you want to:

  • Release muscle and joint ache
  • Relax from high levels of stress
  • Improve bad posture 
  • Decompress weary and overused muscles


Finishing Up

Physiotherapists and Massage therapists, both are serving their clients to provide them relief from pain and to ease their body. But their approaches toward the diagnosis and treatments vary. They also differ from one another based on their education. Physiotherapists are more educated than massage therapists. Well, education is not it. Both professions need master skills otherwise individuals undergo more physical and mental stress. Massage therapists not usually focus on client awareness but physiotherapists educate their clients as well. Know the right conditions and evaluate who is better for you. Because physiotherapists are not massage therapists, both have different standings on the professional grounds. But unfortunately, both are the same in the eyes of common men.  


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