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Difference between Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists in the NDIS

Physiotherapy and exercise physiology?

It is commonly known that both physiotherapists and exercise physiologists provide exercises however a lot of confusion can remain around understanding the difference between the two professions.

The information contained in this blog will provide you with greater information on the difference between exercise physiologists and physiotherapists.

What is the main difference between the two professions?

Whilst there are many differences between the two professions for the general public the main difference between a physiotherapist and an exercise physiologist is that physiotherapists can provide “hands on” therapy and exercise whilst exercise physiologists only provide exercise therapy.

What is “Hands on” Therapy?

Hands on therapy is an umberella terms used to describe the multitude of techniques which are used by physiotherapists which involve the physiotherapist placing their hand on the client.

These techniques are used for the purpose of reducing pain, improving mobility and restorting function in individuals.

Specific terms used by physiotherapists for Hands on therapy techniques can include:

  • Joint mobilisations
  • Joint manipulation
  • Soft tissue techniques
  • Muscle energy techniques
  • Passive assisted exercises (can also be used by exercise physiologists)
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Fascilitation 

What are other differences between physiotherapists and exercise physiologists?

 Physiotherapists work with injuries and conditions throughout all phases of rehabilitation. As mentioned above physiotherapists have training in providing hands on therapy which is very important in the early stages of some injury’s particularly when helping to reduce pain. On the other hand exercise physiologist tend to work with individuals where exercise based interventions such as is the case in most lifestyle diseases are involved for example with weight control and diabetes.

 In some cases there may be an overlap in the services provided by physiotherapists and exercise physiologists. This often occurs in the latter stages of rehabilitation or after a physiotherapists has been working on exercises with an individual for a certain period of time.

Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists in the NDIS Sector?

 Now in general in the disability sector and with NDIS participants whilst its not always the case, most of the participants who see a physiotherapist or an exercise physiologist require exercise based interventions therefore either profession could be suitable as long as the physiotherapist or exercise physiologist has the knowledge and skillset to see those individuals. 

 The reason the practitioners knowledge and skillset is vitally critical is that participants on the NDIS have complex disabilities and often a wide scope of knowledge/ experience is required to deliver interventions.

How can I get more information for Allied Health Services.
If you are after a Mobile Occupational therapists or a Telehealth Occupational Therapist to complete a Functional Capacity Assessment or an Occupational Therapy Assessment you can get in touch here.

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