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The Difference Between Massage & Physio

Massage & Physio

Do you suffer from mobility problems, pain or discomfort? If you do, you likely wonder whether you need massage therapy or physiotherapy. Both of these can help you manage your pain. But they have some differences. Their primary differences are in their purpose and who provides the therapy.

Massage therapy typically works best for immediate relief and relaxation, whether you suffer pain or muscle spasms. On the other hand, physio is a therapy that achieves long-term benefits, such as muscle and joint function rehabilitation.

About the Therapists Who Perform Massage and Physio

In Canada, therapists performing physio call themselves physiotherapists, physical therapists or PTs. To use these terms describing their work, they must have a Master's degree and hold registration through a regulatory college. One example of this type of college is the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.

Registered massage therapists must complete a certified diploma program specializing in massage therapy. They must acquire a Certificate of Registration from their province, as well.

How does physio help with healing?

Physiotherapists work from a wide range of facilities and through home care services. They perform their work in publicly funded hospitals, private clinics, retirement residences and child development centres, to name a few. They perform a range of services for people admitted to the hospital for major surgery, such as heart surgery or joint replacement. Physio helps with recovery and specific needs of each individual client, including:

  • Strength, range of motion and physical function
  • Joint mobility and manipulation
  • Pain and stiffness reduction
  • Airway clearance for people with breathing difficulty
  • Incontinence management and pelvic floor strength building
  • Arthritis and multiple sclerosis treatment
  • Fracture recovery
  • Sports injury, back and neck injury recovery
  • Foot exercise and rehabilitation

People often need physio for chronic pain or other long term conditions. This type of practice also works well in helping patients avoid injury through physical education and daily exercise.

You possibly need the assistance of Brentwood Physiotherapy if you:

  • Suffer pain or mobility problems after a strain, accident or another injury
  • Underwent surgery and need help with recovery
  • Need improvement in your motion and want to be more physically active
  • Want to prevent injury
  • Seek to increase your range of motion or manage a physical condition
Massage & Physio

How does massage therapy help?

Massage is a hands-on therapy focusing on the body's soft tissues. These include your muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and connective tissues. Their work primarily focuses on immediate relief from physical discomfort, not usually for longer-term benefit. Benefits of massage include:

  • Chronic pain relief
  • Reduction or elimination of muscle and joint pain
  • Reduction of everyday muscle pain or discomfort
  • Anxiety symptom reduction
  • Depression symptom reduction
  • Sleep improvement
  • Headache relief
  • Circulation improvement

While physiotherapists typically work as part of a health practice, massage therapists most often work as independent contractors. You can find them in massage therapy clinics, health spas, long-term care facilities, hospitals, private practices, community health clinics and chiropractic clinics.

You can benefit from the massage if you need:

  • Muscle and joint pain relief
  • Relaxation from intense stress
  • Improvement in your posture
  • Relief for tired and overworked muscles

Seek a Recommendation for Massage or Physio

As you can see, the decision between massage and physiotherapy comes down to your specific symptoms and needs. If you are still unsure which service suits your objectives best, talk to your health care provider.

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