People are often confused about the difference between physiotherapy and massage. Which one do you need when you have an injury?
Well, the answer can actually be both.
The two professions are in some ways very different, but there is certainly some overlap in how patients are treated.
Both physios and remedial massage therapists can prescribe stretches, strengthening exercises, postural training and balance exercises.
So how can massage complement physiotherapy? First, we need to look at how they’re different.
Physiotherapy is a relatively new form of treatment compared to massage, coming into play towards the end of the First World War (1914-1918) when it was developed to treat injured soldiers.
As defined by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, physiotherapists “assess, diagnose, treat and prevent a wide range of health conditions and movement disorders.”
Physios are qualified to use ultrasound and TENS machines, and have the ability to refer clients for various diagnostic procedures such as x-rays.
Treatment may be hands-on or movement/exercise-based.
If your injury is more specific, hasn’t been diagnosed and if you’re not sure what’s caused it, it’s a good idea to head to a physio.
extensive histories, perform extensive testing, prescribe exercise and can treat some medical
conditions involving soft tissue.
Remedial massage therapy primarily treats the soft tissue surrounding an injury, stimulating
circulation and blood flow to the site of injury. This promotes pain relief, reduced muscle tension
and restored function.
If your main problem is tense muscles, you would probably be best going to a remedial massage therapist.
A Remedial Massage Therapist will typically spend more time with you and do more soft tissue work.
We work with a number of absolutely fantastic physiotherapists in Perth so if you’d like a recommendation we’d be happy to give you one.
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