Is Physical Therapy the Same as Physiotherapy?

If you are not sure what the difference between physiotherapy and physical therapy is and you are a little confused about what both terms actually mean, you are not alone: many people all around the world share your confusion. Because of the various different ways in which these terms are used by medical professionals, both here in Thailand and in other countries, it not always clear exactly what they mean and how they differ. But don’t worry because, in this article, we’re going to clear up all the confusion once and for all!

Physiotherapy vs. Physical Therapy: What’s the Difference?

The short and simple answer to this question is that there really is no difference at all. Whether a medical professional uses the term physiotherapy or physical therapy, they are referring to exactly the same type of treatment. It is also very common for doctors, nurses and qualified therapists to refer to this type of treatment simply as physio.

What You Can Expect When Visiting a Physio Clinic

Whether you are referred by a family doctor or by another medical professional, it can be daunting to visit a physio clinic for the very first time, especially if you have no idea what is likely to happen. But there really is no need to worry: when physiotherapy is performed by a qualified and experienced therapist, it should not hurt in any way. There are two main components to physio or physical therapy:

  • Manual Therapy – Manual therapy is normally performed at the clinic by your therapist and may take a variety of different forms, including massage and the application of heat or ultrasound to affected areas of your body. The primary aim of manual therapy is to relieve pain and tension in damaged muscles.
  • Movement and Exercise – In addition to hands-on manual therapy, your treatment may include special exercises and stretches that are designed to accelerate your recovery. The first time that you perform these exercises, your therapist will guide you, making sure that you use correct form and technique. You will then be asked to perform the exercises at home, in between therapy sessions, as part of a comprehensive physiotherapy treatment programme.

When used together as part of a carefully planned programme, these two types of physiotherapy can be extremely effective. The specific type of manual therapy you receive and the type of exercises you are asked to perform will depend on the exact nature of your injury or condition.

What Areas of the Body Does a Physiotherapist Treat?

A qualified physiotherapist should be able to provide effective treatment for pain in all parts of the body, from the neck to the feet. Anywhere that you may experience muscle or ligament pain can be treated by a suitably qualified therapist.

More Information and Personal Assistance
If you would like to find out more about the different types of physiotherapy available in Thailand, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We offer both general and sports physiotherapy at our modern sports injury clinic in central Bangkok.