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Here in the United States, physical therapy is defined as a variety of physical activity designed to treat an injury, deformity, or disease rather than a form of hand therapy, which is used to describe physiotherapy. Outside of the United States, people will use the term physiotherapy equivalently as we use physical therapy. The two terms are synonymous and mean the same thing. 

Initially, people thought the two terms were contrasting because physiotherapy meant hand therapy would be performed. Hand therapy is similar to a massage-form of treatment. Over the years, physical therapy has become more popular and requires more activity from the patient. Additionally, physical therapy has been proven to be better for overall muscle.

History of Physiotherapy

The start of physiotherapy can date back to 460 B.C. “Physicians like Hippocrates, and later Galenus, are believed to have been the first practitioners of physiotherapy, advocating massage, manual therapy techniques, and hydrotherapy to treat people” (Physiotherapy / Physical Therapy). 

The first physiotherapy clinic or group was the “Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RCIG) in 1813 for massage, manipulation, and exercise.” (Physiotherapy / Physical Therapy). Things have improved by leaps and bounds since then, with technology and science-supported techniques that are now used to make sure that people are receiving the best possible care for their situations. 

Physiotherapy now goes hand in hand with physical therapy, especially in the United States. Most often, physiotherapy helps relieve specific joint pain and can help with headaches or neck pain. One of the biggest reasons people seek out physical therapy treatment is to reduce or eliminate pain, and reduce the risk of surgery. 

Manual physical therapy, provided by our physical therapy clinics, is one of the best ways to treat common pain conditions. These pained areas include: head, neck, back, knee, shoulder, and more complex joint pain. These injuries can happen from a sports-related injury or just pain from periodic daily functions. 

Why Is Physical Therapy Important for You?

Physical therapy is not just for those who have injuries, it can be used as a preventative measure or as a boost for your body. Physical therapy has been proven to help with joint aches and pains as well as prolonging your life. The benefits of physical therapy are clear, so what’s stopping you from scheduling an appointment?

Now You Know There Is No Difference Between Physical Therapy and Physiotherapy.

If you live in the United States most of the time people will call it physical therapy; otherwise, if you live outside of the United States most physicians will call it physiotherapy. The synonymous practice started thousands of years ago and has been perfected since then. With new technology for physical therapy, people both young and old can obtain beneficial treatment for post-injury recovery or simply if they are trying to lead a more active lifestyle. 

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