Physio or Masseuse: Which do I Need?

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The line between a masseuse and physiotherapist is often, and easily, blurred –  especially for those in pain looking for a way to make it all disappear! However, the differences between the two are quite substantial, especially if you’re injured and in need of the best treatment possible.

The Correct Training

All physiotherapists need to be accredited with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AAPRA). This registration means you’re engaged in ongoing training. As medical professionals in an industry that changes as new methods of treatment come into play and existing treatments are updated, this is an important accreditation for your physiotherapist.

A degree obtained 20 years ago, whilst crucial, won’t keep you on the cutting-edge of industry developments. Physiotherapists are constantly learning and growing, to ensure we’re providing all of our patients with the best treatment possible.

The Dangers of Unqualified Treatment

Whether a masseuse or a chiropractor is treating you, a lack of sufficient training can result in mistakes with painful repercussions. For instance, neck manipulations are best performed by a qualified physiotherapist – a poorly executed manipulation can damage the vertebral artery and in extreme cases result in a stroke.

Before commencing any form of neck treatment, your physiotherapist should perform a series of tests to screen for insufficiencies in the vertebral arteries. These tests are an essential part of your treatment and will ensure you’re kept in good health.

The same applies if you’re visiting an acupuncturist, as incorrect techniques can lead to severe injuries, such as a punctured lung (pneumothorax). Care should also be taken when employing the services of a personal trainer, or when undertaking a vigorous fitness routine to ensure correct exercise technique and to make sure you don’t push yourself too far and cause an injury.

Often, your safest option is to visit your physiotherapist first. We’ll be able to diagnose the issue, treat it if it’s a serious injury, and / or recommend an appropriate health professional or specialist if further assessment or intervention is required.

The Difference Between a Masseuse and Physiotherapist

If you’re stressed or experiencing minor muscle tightness, visiting a masseuse can prove beneficial. However, if your symptoms persist or you have sustained an injury, visiting a physiotherapist is the safer, often more successful approach.

Any injuries, especially during the first few days, need more than just a massage; they will require immediate treatment followed by an appropriate rehabilitation plan. However, a combination of physiotherapy and massage is often recommended to relieve old muscle tensions before sporting or fitness commitments.

Anyone who visits our Perth physiotherapy practice will receive a thorough check-up and a customised treatment plan to relieve any pain or discomfort. Treatment will typically involve mobilisation of the affected joints and releasing the associated tightness in the surrounding muscles. This is further complimented by a home or gym-based exercise program to restore muscle strength and tone.

If you’re injured and need immediate treatment for your muscle or joint pain, contact the team at Vic Physio Group. Our physiotherapists always have your best interests at heart, and we’ll determine the best treatment method to suit your needs.

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