Sports Therapy vs Physiotherapy 🤨

Posted 4 Nov 2021

One of the main questions I get asked as a Sports Therapist is “what is the difference between what you do, and a Physio?”.

In short, my answer is generally that Sports Therapists are the ‘little sibling’ to Physiotherapists. While both health practitioners can assess, treat, and rehabilitate injuries, there are some differences to note as well.

Sports Therapists and Physiotherapists are both qualified to treat the general population, as well as athletes, whether it be for a specific injury, chronic pain, or general life tension throughout the body. One of the differences, however, is that Physios can assess, diagnose, treat, and rehab a range of different diseases and deformities, and are qualified to work in a hospital trauma ward for example.

Both Sports Therapists and Physiotherapists have the anatomical and special test tools to assess and provide a differential diagnosis throughout each area and joint of the body. Both health practitioners can provide at-home exercise programs to enhance the recovery period, however Sports Therapists tend to provide longer appointment times and in turn more hands-on treatment (massage, cupping and/or dry needling).

I aspired to be a Physiotherapist at a young age, until I learnt that Physios have a portion of study based on hospital work which is something I was not interested in. I have a passion for anatomy, and the rehab and recovery of injuries coupled with thorough hands-on treatment, all of which is heavily covered in the Sports Therapy coursework.

At S.P.I.N. Health & Fitness we strongly believe that there is a place for both forms of health practitioners in the industry, and even under the same practice roof!

No matter what job title any health practitioner holds, continuing to learn and be up to date with the latest studies and information is imperative to getting the best results for each client.

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Article by Teagan Parker