Physiotherapy vs. Physical Therapy

May 11, 2021

Physiotherapy-vs.-Physical-TherapyThere are certain times in life when physiotherapy is important for your health and well-being. A recent injury, surgery, or illness can impact your quality of life and you may need a physical therapist to help you fully heal and recover. Whether your doctor recommends you for physiotherapy or physical therapy, these terms both refer to the type of medical care provided by a physical therapist. A physical therapist helps with healing, recovery, and preventative care so you won’t simply survive but thrive. Here’s a little bit more about what you need to know before you go to a doctor for physiotherapy.

Training and Education for a Physical Therapist

Becoming a physical therapist requires a bachelor’s degree as well as an advanced degree from an accredited program. Students typically complete a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field and must apply to highly competitive physical therapy programs available across the country. A physical therapy program typically takes about 3 years and includes education as well as internship and hands-on opportunities. A physiotherapy education also prepares future physical therapists to complete a state licensure exam before they can practice in a hospital or private practice.

Reasons to See a Physical Therapist

People of all ages can see a physical therapist for a variety of illnesses and injuries, which offers a non-invasive, non-surgical approach to healing and recovery. Physiotherapy can be used to prepare for surgery, recover from surgery, or even as an alternative to surgery. Non-invasive, physical approaches to treatment help encourage your body’s natural healing responses and improve functioning in the whole body while also addressing the reason for your treatment. Physical therapy addresses how your strength, flexibility, and mobility have been impacted by an injury or illness.

How Physiotherapy Helps Common Conditions

A physical therapist will use a variety of techniques that may depend on your specific treatment goals and needs for a full recovery. Physical therapy involves an individualized treatment plan that addresses how an injury, surgery, or chronic condition has affected you and develops a way to improve your quality of life. Here are three common conditions and how physiotherapy is an important part of the treatment process:


Car accident injuries and sports injuries may involve support from a physical therapist so you can get back to your way of life. When you’ve been injured, the time it takes to rest may cause your muscles to weaken a bit while you heal. An injury may also impact your muscles, tendons, and joints, so a physical therapist can help you slowly regain a healthy range of motion, strength, and flexibility in the affected area. Your physical therapist may also use manual therapies to promote healthy blood flow and even help break down any scar tissue.


Physiotherapy may be recommended before you undergo surgery in order to improve your strength and stamina for the procedure. An invasive surgery will typically involve a long recovery period and a physical therapist can help your body better prepare for the amount of rest needed. Physical therapy after surgery is perhaps most commonly known because of how it helps you regain strength and improve your mobility. Your physical therapist will likely incorporate stretches and exercises into your treatment plan to help strengthen your body and support your healing process. Certain types of injuries and subsequent surgery may impact your balance and coordination, and physiotherapy can help you recover and improve in these areas as well.

Chronic Issues

Certain conditions can lead to chronic pain and other issues that may impact your quality of life. A physical therapist can help provide you with a natural, non-invasive option for pain management while also addressing the root cause of your issue. When you struggle with chronic pain, it can cause you to be less active and avoid certain activities that may make your pain worse. Physiotherapy provides a safe place for gentle approaches to addressing chronic pain by helping to slowly reintroduce activity and movement into your routine.

At AICA Orthopedics, our team of physical therapists, surgeons, and specialists all work together to provide you with comprehensive care that is unique to you. They’ll also help you find out what affects your body’s ability to heal. Visit our Jonesboro location near you and find out more about how physiotherapy can help you start experiencing lasting pain relief.


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