What is The Difference Between a Physiotherapist and a Sports Massage Therapist

What is the difference between a Physiotherapist and a Sports Massage Therapist

The combination of Physiotherapy and Sports Massage Therapy provide complementary services that help to both maintain and address musculoskeletal health. There is an element of crossover between the professions which can be confusing to the wider community.

If we think of our body the way we would a family car, we tune and service a car regularly to keep it in good running condition rather than waiting for a major problem to arise. The regular servicing addresses all those annoying little things that if not addressed and topped up can end up making a car less efficient leading to more complex problems. This same principle applies to our body. Both Physiotherapy and Sports Massage Therapy can tune and service your body. The Sports Massage Therapist can troubleshoot minor and moderate repairs without the need to see a Physiotherapist. However, if you have a musculoskeletal issue that needs to be thoroughly investigated, a Physiotherapist provides a diagnostic assessment, addressing such issues as biomechanics and the nervous system. The Physiotherapist then follows through with treatment and exercise prescription. The Sports Massage Therapist can then work on releasing the soft tissue structures in and around the area identified by the Physiotherapist. In addition, the soft tissue changes that occur from sports massage can last for longer when done in conjunction with the specific exercises prescribed by the Physiotherapist.

It makes sense therefore that utilising a combination of Physiotherapy interventions and Massage Therapy would be the optimal way to manage the body. Globally the best sports medicine clinics work as an effective collaborative team with ongoing interaction between the different practitioners. This is called ‘the sports medicine model’. This approach aims to provide optimal patient treatment by focusing on, as well as combining, the skills of each discipline to provide comprehensive treatment plans to meet each client’s specific needs. To this end, Thrive by PhysioCentral also employs the specialty services of Osteopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Depending on your injury/condition we also provide a referral source of Podiatrists, specific Doctors and selected Surgeons.

So if you want your body to operate both efficiently and as it should, consider thinking of your body like a family car or a high performance racing car. The PhysioCentral team are skilled and experienced specialists who work collaboratively to achieve optimal results for you, with the aim of keeping your body operating as a well maintained machine.

Ron Alexander
Sports Massage Therapist
Thrive by PhysioCentral