Physical therapy, also called physiotherapy, is a type of medical treatment that helps improve movement and function. The goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain, increase range of motion, and improve quality of life. Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to achieve these goals, including exercises, stretching, and massage. In some cases, they may also use electrical stimulation or heat therapy. Physical therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including back pain, arthritis, stroke, and cerebral palsy. It can also be used to improve balance and coordination after an injury. Most physical therapists work in outpatient clinics, but they may also work in hospitals or nursing homes. Some may even provide home-based services.
Physiotherapy and physical therapy are essentially the same things. Don’t let these terms confuse you: physiotherapists and physical therapists do basically the same work—they’re just different names for it!
Thus, both physiotherapy and physical therapy mean rehabilitation and treatment through movement, exercise, massage, and education. You can also receive physical therapy from an athletic trainer (AT) or occupational therapist (OT).
The name differences can be confusing. It is the same treatment procedure but has different terms in different countries. In Canada and the United Kingdom, for example, physiotherapy is used to describe the profession. In the United States, the term physical therapy is used for the same treatment procedure.
In the United States, physical therapy is a licensed profession governed by state laws and regulations.
In the US, physical therapists are licensed under state law. They are required to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university (or its equivalent) and complete a graduate-level program that meets certification requirements set by national bodies such as APTA and AANA. Unlike many other types of health care professionals in the U.S., PTs must pass exams administered by these organizations before they can practice independently (the exception being those who received their degrees through foreign universities).
In addition to these requirements, each state has its own standards for licensure that may vary across jurisdictions—for example, some states require clinicians to complete additional training as part of their education requirements before they can sit for licensing exams; others do not impose any additional requirements beyond graduation from an accredited school or program plus passing tests administered by professional associations such as APTA or AANA. The rules and requirements can change or may have changed since we wrote this article.
Read more about physical therapy in our Physical therapy blog.
Physiotherapy is the brand of physical therapy used in the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries.
In Canada, The physiotherapy profession is regulated by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, which maintain a list of qualified practitioners on its website.
Physiotherapists must be registered with the College and be licensed to practice in Ontario. They have to meet certain requirements, like having a degree from an accredited university or college program, working under the supervision of a licensed physiotherapist for at least one year, and passing a national exam.
In the United Kingdom, Physiotherapy is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC describes physiotherapy as a “hands-on” profession that helps people with injuries or illnesses to get back to their normal lives. Physiotherapists (as they are known in the UK) are trained to assess patients, diagnose their problems, and provide treatment using physical exercise and other techniques.
The HCPC has created standards of practice for physiotherapists and requires them to follow these standards. They also require physiotherapists to complete continuing professional development so that they can stay up-to-date with new developments in their field.
Physiotherapy and physical therapy are both branches of the medical profession that help people recover from injury or illness. Both physiotherapists and physical therapists work with patients to improve their mobility and function by using a variety of techniques, including exercise, massage, and manipulation.
Physiotherapy is generally considered the more holistic of the two disciplines, as it often focuses on patient education about their condition and how to prevent it from worsening in the future.
Physical therapy tends to have a more direct approach, focusing on treating an injury or illness with exercises and techniques that can help patients get back in shape faster.
As we’ve seen, the differences between physiotherapy and physical therapy are minimal. Although the names for these professions vary by country, the underlying principles are similar: rehabilitation and treatment through movement, exercise, massage, and education. So don’t let the name differences confuse you—both professions help patients recover from injuries or illnesses through exercise and other activities that promote mobility.
Disclaimer: The information and advice contained in our articles are intended for general informational purposes only. The content on our site does not provide any medical advice and only reflects the opinion of writers. You should always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health or well-being.
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