Physical Therapist vs Massage Therapist: Unravelling the Distinction

imed22/ January 20, 2021/ General/ 0 comments

Physical therapy and massage therapy have similar methods of treatments. They both apply physical therapy techniques to provide health benefits. However, there’s a significant distinction between these two practices. And, that is what we are going to unravel in this article. We will define each method as well as the health benefits that they offer. If you’d like to know how a deep tissue massage can help you, visit Wayne Massage site to read more.


The Physical Therapist

A physical therapist is a person who practices and applies the study and general practices of physical therapy. Their approach is determined by the results of the patient’s diagnosis. The techniques employed are based on substantial evidence of their patient’s medical condition. A physical therapist’s primary purpose is to provide muscle and joint rehabilitation from injury, stroke, or inborn medical conditions. The target result is to increase and optimise the mobility range of the patient. Physical therapy is ideal and safe for people of all ages. The sessions can be performed at a medical facility or home. Some techniques require the usage of prescription medication depending on the severity of the case. A physical therapist will only be able to practice after passing the state licensure assessment.


Methods and Treatment Plans of a Physical Therapist

Here are the most common techniques that a physical therapist usually recommends:

  • Exercises that are developed to increase the mobility and range of motion of joints and muscles
  • Joint manipulation to reduce stiffness, discomfort or pain
  • Airway clearance techniques for individuals with breathing difficulties
  • Incontinence management and improvement techniques via floor exercises
  • Multiple sclerosis and arthritis treatment plans
  • Rehabilitation programs for sporting injuries


Physical therapy of physiotherapy is ideal if you:

  • Experience pain and restricted movement due to injuries and general weight-bearing strain
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation
  • Prefer to increase and improve your athleticism
  • Injury prevention
  • Improve an existing mobility condition


Health Conditions That Physiotherapy Can Help

  • Arthritis
  • Back and neck pains
  • Cancer-related conditions
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chronic pain and discomfort
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Balance and stability issues
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Trauma or fractures
  • Incontinence
  • Knee and ankle joint injuries
  • Lymphedema
  • Muscle strain and stress
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pelvic pain and discomfort
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Rotator-cuff immobility or injuries
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Spinal cord injuries


The Benefits of Physical Therapy

The benefits of physical therapy can save time, money, and effort. In some cases, surgery can be prevented. Depending on the severity of the case, the entire program may last for a few days or weeks. Your physical therapist and your doctor will work hand-in-hand to assess the program’s efficiency and monitor your progress. The techniques may also vary from one condition to another. Exercise machines like treadmills, stationary bikes, and medical resistance bands may be incorporated into your rehabilitation program to enhance its effects. Physical therapy is widely regarded as a very effective technique.


The Massage Therapist

A massage therapist is an individual who can provide immediate pain and discomfort treatment with therapeutic techniques. They are well-versed in managing pain from muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissues. The massage therapist’s main purpose is to help alleviate the pain and ease out the tension the soonest time possible. Massage therapists may sometimes use massage sticks, or massage guns to enhance the efficiency of their techniques. Also, massage therapy can help significantly with the easing of muscle tensions and stiffness after working out.


Methods and Treatment Plans of a Massage Therapist

  • Programs to alleviate chronic pain, stiffness, and general discomfort
  • Reduction and management of occupational stress and strain or overexertion from training exercises
  • Different muscle massages techniques to ease pain
  • Massage techniques to release serotonin and dopamine
  • Enhances sleeping patterns and relaxation
  • Provides headache relief
  • Blood and lymphatic circulation improvement
  • Increases the efficiency of natural detoxification


Massage Therapy is ideal if you:

  • Need immediate joint pain or muscle relief
  • Need deep and efficient relaxation
  • Need posture improvement
  • Want to ease out the stiffness and tension of overworked muscles
  • Want to improve your lymphatic system
  • Want to get node build-up


Health Conditions That Massage Therapy Can Help

  • Mental conditions like depression or anxiety
  • Migraines and chronic headaches
  • Muscle tension, stiffness, and pain from physical activities
  • Repetitive muscle strain and stress from injuries


The Benefits of Massage Therapy

The most significant benefit of massage therapy is the relief of pain and discomfort. These negative sensations may lead to injury or lack of focus and decreased overall performance. Undergoing a massage therapy session helps with the improvement of pain relief and mood. As mentioned earlier, massage therapy helps the release of serotonin that can make us feel good the entire day. Another factor to consider is the improvement of our lymphatic system. Our natural way of detoxification gets a dramatic boost by eliminating the node build-up in our joints and muscles. In turn, it also enhances the immune system and makes us resilient against viruses, bacteria, and germs.

However, the best benefit of massage therapy is providing immediate relief after working out. This method enhances the efficiency of your training and brings you closer to your fitness goals. Some athletes undergo massage therapy after working out or competing. It’s like an enhanced version of cooldown exercises. The entirety of the programs improves muscle development as well.



Now that you know the difference between a physical therapist and a massage therapist, you will have the knowledge to go to the appropriate person to get the right treatment. Although they may have similarities in style and approach, they are technically focused on their specific practices. You now know where to go to if you want instant muscle relief, or prefer to improve your overall athleticism.

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