Health blog

Is physical therapy the same thing as physical rehab?

October 8th, 2021
Physical Rehab

Physical therapy, physical rehab or rehabilitation, and physiotherapy. There are a lot of terms that are thrown around when people talk about treating musculoskeletal injuries or medical conditions, but do they all mean the same thing exactly? In the case of physical therapy and physical rehab, the answer is they aren’t exactly the same. 

What is the difference between physical therapy and physical rehab?

Physical therapy is a medical discipline that’s designed to do several specific things: It is designed to help people address impairments caused by injuries or medical conditions. Additionally, it is intended to help improve a patient’s functional ability and movement. For instance, physical therapy can help address the pain and reduced range of motion caused by a shoulder injury. 

Physical rehab is the process of restoring your body to its original condition after an injury. Physical therapy is a major part of this process, but rehabilitation can also include other services such as: 

  • Occupational therapists.
  • Speech therapists. 
  • Psychologists. 
  • Clinical social workers. 
  • Psychiatrists. 

Three benefits that physical therapy can offer

Physical therapy can offer people a wide range of benefits. This is one reason why it’s so often included in the physical rehabilitation process. Let’s go back to our example of shoulder injuries. A few of the benefits physical therapy can bring to the rehab process for a shoulder injury include: 

  1. Educating you about your injury — Rehabilitating a shoulder injury tends to be more effective when you know more about your injury. Physical therapists can help you gain knowledge about your injury and the techniques they use to address it. This increased understanding can help you become a more active participant in your rehabilitation, which can improve its effectiveness. 
  1. Reducing your pain — Pain reduction is one of the primary goals of physical therapy. Pain tends to make it harder for you to give your whole attention to rehabilitation. Physical therapists can use soft tissue mobilization (STM) and other techniques to help reduce shoulder injury pain. One medical study found that patients who had a shoulder impingement had a 2.4-point drop in visual analogue scale (VAS) scores for pain after STM. 
  1. Decreasing your total time in rehab — Steady progress in treating your physical symptoms and movement deficits can be heartening. The positive feelings that physical therapy may lead to can increase your ability to tackle other aspects of your rehab. As a result, you may find that your total time rehabilitating is minimized. 

Rehab Access offers physical therapy that can help your physical rehab process

Are you looking for a team that can help you get the most out of the physical therapy portion of your physical rehab? Look no further than our team of physical therapists at Rehab Access Physical Therapy. Our team is ready to work closely with your other rehab professionals to address your injury or medical condition. Still not sure if we can help you? Let’s find out together during a free screening. 

Contact our team today for more information about all the services we offer or to schedule your initial appointment with us.