What is the difference between a physiotherapist and a physical therapist?

Physiotherapist Physical Therapist

What is the difference between a physiotherapist and a physical therapist?

Physiotherapists and Physical Therapists are essentially the same. Commonly, Physical Therapy is the term used in the United States and Physiotherapy is used in Canada, the UK, Australia, and so on.  The difference is that the title ‘Physical Therapy’ is not a protected term and can be technically be abused by those who are not qualified and registered. Therefore it is important as a patient that you know your service provider is a licensed Physiotherapist and is registered with the appropriate licensing body of your province. 

Physiotherapist Physical Therapist

In certain cases you may see advertisements offering “Physical Therapy”, these services provided may not be performed by a registered and insured professional, possibly leaving you at danger of injury or even worse.

A Registered Physiotherapist is often the most appropriate health professional to deal with health and wellness impairments.  Examples of times when to seek out a Physiotherapist includes; a muscle or tendon pull, sports injuries, neck or lower back pain, or post surgery.

How many years of educational studies does it take to become a Physiotherapist?

Generally 6 years. You need an undergraduate honours degree (4 years) and then Physiotherapy is a Masters program that lasts 2 years.

I’m looking to  find a Registered Physiotherapist near me?

You could use the following internet sites to locate Registered Physiotherapists near you, as well as Physiotherapists with experience in certain practice locations.

Note: All Physiotherapists must be registered with the College, however the Associations subscription is optional.

1) The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario: at www.collegept.org you may access the public register of all Physiotherapists licensed to practice in Ontario. The direct link is: http://publicregister.collegept.org/PublicServices/Start.aspx.

2) You can access The Canadian Physiotherapy Association by visiting www.physiotherapy.ca. You can utilize this web site to find a physiotherapist in all Canadian provinces, The direct web link is http://physiotherapy.ca/Finding-a-Physiotherapist.aspx.

About the Author

Brad SaltzBrad is a Registered Physiotherapist at Ace Physio, a highly respected Physiotherapy clinic in downtown Toronto. Ace Physio provides high quality one on one Physiotherapy that combined state-of-art technology such as; Shockwave Therapy, Laser Therapy, and Spinal Decompression with traditional Physiotherapy.View all posts by Brad Saltz