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Who Should You Go For? Physiotherapy vs. Massage Therapy

Physiotherapy vs. Massage Therapy

Are you suffering from pain and discomfort? Maybe you pulled a muscle? Or is your joint swollen? You are right in seeking an expert in help. Both physiotherapists and massage therapists can help you with these. But who should you go for? Read along for the answers to these questions!

What Is Physiotherapy For?

Physiotherapists often treat serious ailments and rehabilitation due to disabilities, injuries, and accidents. Their responsibility is to get the clients the full range of motion quickly and safely. To achieve this, physiotherapists create specially tailored programs for each of their clients. 

Physio requires detailed medical history for each patient. In addition to that, they also get detailed information from the patient including the timeline of the injury or pain. This helps them diagnose the issue. With the help of the above, they figure out a treatment plan keeping in mind your history with working out and also occupation. The treatment plan may include taping, joint manipulation, acupuncture, ultrasound in addition to hands-on treatment.

To learn more about what our physiotherapists are capable of, check out our physiotherapy service page.

Advantages of Physiotherapy

Apart from being a rehabilitative measure, physio can also help you with preventative measures. They instruct the patients on daily exercises not to mention lifestyle changes. 

  • Physiotherapy helps treat serious ailments and injuries. 
  • Physiotherapy treatments plans are personalized for each patient. 
  • Physiotherapy helps strengthen the muscles, thereby controlling the pain. 
  • Physiotherapy helps improve balance and reduce the risk of a fall. 
  • Physiotherapists rehabilitates cancer patients and helps maintain muscle tone.
  • Physiotherapy improves the quality of life for stroke patients. 

When is Physiotherapy the Right Choice?

 Even though both massage therapy and physiotherapy aim at relieving the pain and restoring a full range of movement, certain issues require a physiotherapist’s involvement.  Visit your physiotherapist if you need or have any one of the following:

  • Have pain and stiffness of muscles and joints.
  • Have had sports injuries, fractures, accidents, and sprains.
  • Are looking to prevent further injuries. 
  • Increase the range of motion with more physical activity. 
  • Require rehabilitation due to surgery.
  • Have arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
  • Massage therapy doesn’t help your problem or relieve the pain.

After the initial therapy, your physio would require you to come for follow up treatments to help you achieve your goals. If your problem goes beyond the needs of a physiotherapist, they would suggest you visit a GP or a specialist.

In a few cases, your physio may also suggest a massage therapist after physiotherapy sessions, which brings us to the next point.

What Is Massage Therapy For?

Often people who look for remedy in physio might require just massage therapy. Massage therapy is responsible for the entire well being of the mind and body of the patient. Massage therapy is involves kneading and working the soft tissues and muscles to improve well being. It involves a variety of techniques where touch and pressure are applied in varying intensities to soothe the discomfort. 

And How Are Massage Therapists Different from Physiotherapists?

While massage therapy can relieve you of pain, it can also work on your stress and anxiety. Similar to a physiotherapist, a massage therapist enquires about your health conditions and ailments. Your first appointment is spent on discussing your pain and areas of discomfort but they don’t need a detailed medical history. They check with you and then decide on what part of the body to focus on. 

There are many types of massages depending on your requirement. If you are in a sedentary job, you might require attention to your upper body but the requirement for sportspeople is very different. 

  • Swedish Massage Therapy – A gentle massage to relax and energize you.
  • Sports Massage Therapy – Similar to the above but focused on sportspeople and their issues. 
  • Deep Massage Therapy – A forceful massage to reach the deep tissues and muscles. Usually used for muscle strains and injuries. 
  • Trigger Point Massage Therapy – A massage of varying intensity that focuses on the tight muscle fibers. 

You can visit our massage therapy service page to see all the techniques our massage therapists can offer.

Advantages of Massage Therapy

While massage therapy is not a solution to any ailment, it is done to supplement your health care regimen. Regular massages can not only relax you but also reduce your stress and tension. 

  • Massage therapy helps to destress and unwind after a long day at work. The effect lasts for days if not weeks after your session. 
  • Massage therapy reduces your muscle stiffness and chronic pain. An experienced therapist can target the exact source and formulate a proper massage regimen. 
  • Massage therapy encourages relaxation and improve your sleep quality. 
  • Simulation of lymph nodes during the massage therapy session improves your immunity. 
  • Massage therapy promotes better sleep, thereby reducing fatigue. 
  • Massage therapy helps alleviate depression and anxiety. 

We have outlined all the top 7 benefits of massage therapy on this article: 7 Benefits of Massage Therapy

When is Massage Therapy the Right Choice?

Often massage therapy is chosen as a quick pain reliever. But, whether you require a physiotherapist or a massage therapist depends on your condition and your therapist. Visit your massage therapist if require any of the below. 

  • Pain relief in muscle and joints due to occupation and intense workouts.
  • Relax from excess stress. 
  • Looking to improve your posture
  • Improve your quality of sleep.
  • Help reduce anxiety and depression. 
  • Relax your muscles and improve circulation.

Key Differences between Physiotherapy vs. Massage Therapy

Physiotherapy and Massage therapy are two amazing methods of healing. Despite variations, they help in relieving you of pain. They restore proper functions to the affected parts of the body. Patients often benefit from both physiotherapy and massage therapy working in union. 

  • Massage therapy gives immediate relief from the pain. But, physiotherapy aids in rehabilitating your muscle and joint function. 
  • Massage therapy loosens your muscles and relaxes you. But physiotherapy treats acute and chronic pain. It also helps in injury prevention and improving balance. 
  • Physiotherapy focuses on rehabilitating you and plays an active role in recovery from an injury or surgery. But massage therapy is more of a pain relief rather than a treatment. 
  • Physiotherapy works on an evidence-based exercise-as-medicine approach. It includes strength building and muscle stretching exercises. Massage therapy on the other hand works by manipulating your muscles by hand with the help of oils. When both of them work hand in hand, you can manage your pain easily and focus on strengthening yourself.
  • Massage therapy is important for the overall wellness of the body. But physiotherapy is mandatory for managing many critical illnesses.  

Dr. Hafeez Merani, an experienced chiropractor, suggests considering chiropractic care as a valuable addition to the discussion on physiotherapy and massage therapy. Chiropractic care specializes in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, focusing on the spine and nervous system. Chiropractors like Dr. Merani perform spinal adjustments and manipulations to improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself, making it a complementary option for individuals with chronic pain, neck discomfort, and headaches. Additionally, chiropractic care takes a holistic approach, considering the interconnectedness of the body’s systems, which can lead to improved posture, reduced stress, and better sleep quality. To achieve a comprehensive approach to recovery and wellness, Dr. Merani recommends consulting with a chiropractor alongside physiotherapy and massage therapy to assess specific needs and explore the benefits of chiropractic adjustments.

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