What is the Difference Between an Exercise Physiologist and a Physiotherapist?

The differences between an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist revolve around the time an injury occurred. It is understandable to mistake the roles each of these plays in our journey to living healthy lives after an injury. But one thing to keep in mind is that an exercise physiologist helps you when you are further along into your recovery, mostly 3-4 weeks after the initial injury. Whitelist, a physiotherapist, comes into the picture as soon as the injury occurs.

As explained by Movement 101’s website, here is an explanation of the roles both play in recovery from injury.

The Differences

Let’s say that you just sprain your ankle while out in the field with your friends. Immediately post the injury, you’ll need to visit a physiotherapist who will help in controlling the inflammation and keep the swelling down. The physiotherapist will also provide a diagnosis for your injury and provide you with temporary aids to assist you with your mobility like a crutch.

However, when it comes to an exercise physiotherapist, you will need one to further along after receiving injury treatment.

For this instance, let’s say you got a crutch to help move around. The next phase of your rehabilitation to get you back on your feet occurs after 3- 4 weeks post-injury.

And this is where an exercise physiologist comes in.

An exercise physiologist will induce light body exercises to help you regain your range of movements, including restoration of joint movements and strength to get your joints back to form.

Every exercise prescribed by an exercise physiologist is tailored toward helping you achieve daily goals or performance objectives that you may have.

So Do You Need an Exercise Physiologist or a Physiotherapist?

If what we have discussed up to now feels a little bit technical for you, here’s a checklist you can use to understand what you need right now quickly.

How to Know Whether you Need a Physiotherapist

If you feel some relatively new pain and are undiagnosed, have a terrible sports injury, or have recently gone through orthopedic surgery, or maybe you require suggestive relief like a massage, then you might need a physiotherapist.

During a physiotherapist consult, you’ll undergo a comprehensive medical history, assessment, and diagnosis of your condition. The physiotherapist will use the information to understand your health and give you the right diagnosis.

You will be educated about your current condition and what needs to happen after that. The physiotherapist will then develop a treatment and a prevention plan to help you recover faster and in a healthy way and may also use manual therapy to ease you back to optimal shape. You may also get a home prescribed exercise you can do on your own to speed up your progress and help you build healthy habits. The physiotherapist may liaise with specialists to keep an eye on your recovery.

How to Know Whether you Need a Physiologist

If you are recuperating from a previous injury, or maybe you have a prior injury, and you want to get back in shape, then a physiologist is what you need. Other instances that warrant physiologist services include chronic health problems whereby exercising could help out and if you’d like to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle or looking for an exercise program to help you meet your health and fitness goals.

A physiologist’s session will involve a thorough medical check to define a practical plan and a  physical test to determine effective strategies. You will also undergo a complete targeted exercise specifically tailored for you right there at the clinic. You may also get proper enlightenment on the best strategies to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

In most cases, the physiologist will continue monitoring your progress with other specialists to help you attain your goals. And to keep track of your recovery to ensure a smooth transition into full health.

One thing for sure is that there’s some overlap between an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist. Like the manual massage, personalized home exercises, and follow-up with other specialists, a physiotherapist and exercise physiologist will help you recuperate and get you back in shape from the beginning of the journey, immediately post the injury. And later, when you are further along, and you want to get back in shape. Or if you want to lose weight, to be more healthy.

Bottom line, an exercise physiologist and physiotherapist work by helping clients recuperate faster and safely from an injury.