What is the difference between a Sports Therapist and Physiotherapist?

If I had a pound for every time we are asked this?

So many get confused between the two when deciding who can help them.

BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy: “Physiotherapy is a rehabilitation profession that promotes improvement in quality of life through diagnosis, examination and treatment”

BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy: “Sports Therapy is concerned with the prevention, rehabilitation and treatment of the patient back to optimum occupational and/ or specific fitness”

In a nutshell, WE get you back to more than just “day-to-day living”, whatever your goal, we can get you there! In our experience, Patients coming to us from NHS Physiotherapy sessions are saying “I have had less than 10 minute session, no hands-on treatment and a sheet of exercises to do and I am still no better”

So, is a Sports Therapist effectively a Sports Physio?

Quoting from our Governing Body, The Society of Sports Therapists “Sports Therapists are NOT Physiotherapists, but Sports Therapists will apply “Physiotherapy” skills because Physiotherapy is defined as “the treatment of injury by physical methods including massage and exercise rather than drugs or surgery”. We are proud to be Sports Therapists making a difference!

So what is the difference?

As a general rule of thumb when talking to our patients we advocate that Physiotherapists are more ‘medical’. By that we mean that if you have had a serious medical condition, such as heart attack, stroke or a respiratory condition, then a Physiotherapist is your health care professional as they provide this level of care in a hospital setting.

As Sports Therapists, we are an excellent go-to after you have received your initial care package directed from the hospital. Sports Therapists are specialists in injuries from the very first day of our degree. In Physiotherapy terms this is musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapy; an area in which a Physio can specialise.

Why the ‘Sport’ in Sports Therapy?

This is an interesting one, and a real headache for marketing!

Sporty people are obviously attracted to a Sports Therapist, or equally a Sports Physiotherapist. Incidentally, there is very little, if any, difference in training between a Physiotherapist and Sports Physiotherapist. The name is just letting you know they specialise in sports injuries.

The only real importance of the word ‘sport’ in Sports Therapist or Sports Physio, is that they have an interest in and understand sport.

Are you NHS registered?

No, we are private healthcare professionals with a Degree in Sports Therapy. We do however, treat and rehabilitate patients who have previously been under NHS care but have come to the end of their sessions with them or feel that they haven’t made the progress that they would like.

What can treatment do you for?

Whether you are visiting us for Injury Treatment or Sports Massage Therapy we can help; reduce your tension and ‘knots’, ease joint and muscle pain and stiffness, improve joint mobility and flexibility, help improve and maintain your sporting performance and daily activities, have a positive impact on both physical and mental well-being, aid recovery from injury and form preventive programmes to help you beyond what you thought was possible.

How often should I have a Sports Massage?

It all depends on your needs, activity levels and stressors. As a general rule of thumb ‘The more active you are, the more regular treatment you may need’. We cater for weekly, fortnightly, monthly and 6 weekly treatment plans based on what you need.

What should I expect from treatment at Kinesis Sports Therapy?

On your first appointment, we will discuss your needs, priority areas for treatment with the aim of reducing pain and increasing movement. We may also need to form an assessment to tailor treatment sessions to your needs. You will always get hands-on treatment as part of your first session with us and some take-home exercises.

What should I wear for treatment?

It is advised that you wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing for ease of treatment and assessment and for your comfort. For lower limb treatments; shorts are best and for upper limb treatments; if you’re female, you may prefer to wear a vest/ sports bra.

How many treatment sessions do I need?

This is all dependent upon the injury you come into clinic with. It is unknown, although we use a rough rule of thumb depending on the structure you have injured i.e. muscle, ligament, tendon, bone, cartilage etc. Discuss this with your therapist and they can best direct you.

An important thing to note: when you are feeling good and no longer in pain, it is even more important to attend sessions to progress your rehabilitation journey to prevent the injury occurring again.

Can I see my Osteopath or Chiropractor alongside yourself?

We have no problem if you are visiting your Osteopath or Chiropractor alongside receiving treatment from us, after all in our scope of practice we do not perform joint manipulation. Our training is mobilisation based, which is a gentle and very effective way to encourage a joint to behave in a better manner, but not to radically change how the joint works; you are not a perfect skeleton and nor should you be. For us, if we change what makes you you, or what makes you good at your sport, you will not be as effective, therefore we choose to use joint/ spinal mobilisation as more can go wrong with other treatment choices.

Do I need a Personal Trainer?

Personal Trainers are amazing at forming plans for people who have little direction in a gym setting or have a desired outcome goal i.e. weight loss, get fit, get toned. If your goal is to get strong, prevent injury or recover from injury, this is where Kinesis Sports Therapy comes in. We have Strength and Conditioning qualifications WITH injury knowledge. This makes us perfect for you to get you fit, strong, become less prone to injury and enhance your sporting prowess!

Where are you based?

Kinesis Sports Therapy is beautifully situated in the Herefordshire countryside in Kings Caple, near to Hoarwithy, a popular neighbouring village. We have patients who come locally; Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Monmouth, Ledbury, Much Marcle, Golden Valley; Orcop, St Weonards, Welsh Newton, Llanwarne, or a little further afield; Abergavenny and the Forest of Dean; Coleford, Mitcheldean, Newent, Gorsley

Get in touch and book an appointment

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