Differences between exercise physiology and physical therapy

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Understanding Exercise Physiology Vs. Physical Therapy

Most individuals have difficulties differentiating the two terms:  Physiology and Physical Therapy. Although they are diverse in how they work, they are quite affiliated. They both use physical and exercise movements to assist individuals who suffer from fatal injuries or degenerative diseases. Physical therapy is to restore movement. Conversely, exercise physiology aims at relieving symptoms like pain during physical practice. Thus, the discussed work altogether at intervals respectively. Continue reading t understand the similarities and differences in exercise physiology vs. physical therapy.

The differences:

Definition of Physical Therapy

This technique uses exercise to restore movements of particular body parts. This type of treatment is available to individuals who have suffered injuries or aging. First off, an assessment is carried out to determine the limitations of the patient. This helps in formulating the type of activities that will aid in restoring movement. This treatment aims at improving the life of a patient through advanced functionality, abilities and body fitness.

Definition of Exercise Physiology

As discussed, this treatment aims at preventing chronic diseases and providing health benefits to those who suffer from certain injuries. This is a branch of health that involves the study of biological effects of exercise on body organs and cells. It treats diseases like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.

Career Paths:

Physical therapy

Professions in this field mainly work with the patient who has movement/physical disabilities brought by illness and injuries. Their principal objective is to initiate movement in their patients. Physical therapists are responsible for examining the physical condition of a patient and formulating the ideal plan to correct movement. Moreover, they assess the progress of their patients and they can alternate plans when needed. Depending on the type of therapist, they work in fitness centres and can also be hired privately.

Exercise Physiologist

The primary function of exercise physiologist is to carry an assessment to determine the fitness of a patient through fitness tests. They assess the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and the level of oxygen inhalation while they carry out physical exercise. They operate the results of the assessment to prescribe physical treatment activities. The assessment equally determines the amount of strength and the fitness of a patient. Exercise physiologists are used in rehab clinics, fitness centres, and hospitals.


Physical therapist

For you to qualify as a physical therapist, you have to obtain a Masters degree in the field. They have undergone numerous topics in anatomy, pathology, physiology, and biomechanics. Moreover, they have advanced knowledge about rehabilitation programs and increased physical activity.  Physical therapists have advanced knowledge and are dedicated to improving joint and muscle movement.

Exercise therapist

For you to qualify as an exercise therapist, you have to obtain a Bachelor’s degree and demonstrate adequate expertise in kinesiology. In their discipline, they are taught to assess a patient’s progress and plan for the treatment options. An exercise physiologist should maintain close communication with a physical therapist to facilitate the rapid recovery of a patient.


Physical Therapist

A physical therapist will help you recover either from fitness clinics, hospitals, or at home. To begin, they have to assess your symptoms and medical history so that they can create a plan for treatment. For instance, in case of spinal injury or lower back pain, a physical therapist will examine your movement ordeals then plan a treatment that will facilitate your recovery. Physical therapy incorporates manual manipulation therapy, exercise, acupuncture, and physical modalities.

Rather than recovery, this treatment is used to reduce acute and chronic pain primarily when working with muscles directly. It improves the quality of a patient’s life through reconditioning and prevention of potential injuries.

PT also incorporates post-surgery rehabilitation. Physical therapists have adverse knowledge on surgery and rehabilitation requirements. In some instances, a patient may require surgery to attain full recovery. Physical therapists are responsible for these types of surgeries.

What does physical therapist examine during PT activity?

Spine conditions: PT’s have significant knowledge and interests when it comes to spine complications.

Nervous system: Diseases such as stroke may cause adverse effects on the nervous system. Since a physical therapist has extensive knowledge on the neurological field, they can optimize the function of the nervous system.

Bottom Line

This article has excellently articulated the considerable differences between exercise physiology vs. physical therapy. This includes their functions, disciplines and career paths. Nevertheless, they work together towards a common goal to ensure you recover your full mobility.

For more information on how physical therapy can benefit you, contact Focus Physiotherapy.  Focus Physiotherapy has 6 convenient physiotherapy clinic locations in the Greater Toronto Area: Etobicoke, Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, North York and York. Please click one of the locations below for contact information, directions and hours of operation. We look forward to speaking with you.

By |May 14th, 2018|Physiotherapy|Comments Off on Differences between exercise physiology and physical therapy

About the Author:

Anthony Grande has been a Registered Physiotherapist since 1996. His desire to help people recover from their injuries pushed him to provide better care and get involved in professional and government organizations, where he gained the opportunity to be part of roundtables with Ministers and their staff. He specializes in medical acupuncture, sports injury recovery, and stroke and traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. Anthony devotes his personal time to his family, animal welfare, and social entrepreneurship.