Physiotherapy? Massage Therapy? What to Choose for Healing

Physiotherapy? Massage Therapy? What to Choose for Healing

When pain and discomfort inevitably invade your busy life, what is the most efficient way to manage it? Sometimes the solution to getting you back on track is as simple as taking over-the-counter pain medication and getting a good night’s sleep. However, that is not always the case because your injury or chronic pain may need a professional to assess and support your healing.

Physiotherapy and remedial massage therapy are two of the most popular options that offer expert assistance, so it might be helpful to understand the difference between the therapies to help you decide which is the right choice for your individual situation:

While physiotherapy is supportive of specific injuries that require rehabilitation (think recovery post heart surgery or joint replacement), remedial massage is more focused on functionality of body maintenance and deals with such things as stress relief and pain.

Remedial massage therapy is a healing discipline that focuses on the body’s soft tissues and its main purpose is to relieve tension and release restrictions that cause swelling and pain by restoring circulation and blood flow. This therapy has the healing capability to:  

  • work in a ‘hands-on’ fashion on the body to relieve pain, tension and stress.
  • through various modalities, can stretch and relax muscles, fascia, ligaments and soft tissues
  • provide rehabilitation for injuries, especially sports injuries
  • restore lost mobility
  • deliver overall body tune-up to balance the body’s functions, improve posture
  • support improved circulation and blood flow which feeds and nourishes the body’s systems
  • suggest some strengthening exercises and at-home self-care


Physiotherapy is considered an official medical practice that can assess injuries and body issues and provide an official diagnosis and protocol of treatment. This discipline can:

  • address specific injuries or issues such as post-surgical rehabilitation or fractures, sprains
  • assist in sudden pain or injury situations
  • manage and treat autoimmune diseases such as arthritis
  • provide relief for patients experiencing breathing difficulty or airway restrictions
  • can oversee and employ the use of specific technology such electronic stimulation or ultrasound for a client’s  rehabilitation process
  • can devise exercise plans and programs to improve mobility, strength and prevention of injuries


How to choose between physiotherapy and remedial massage therapy?

Both physiotherapy and remedial massage therapy have areas of overlap in their ability to treat injuries, pain issues and chronic conditions. However, in very general terms, physiotherapy is designed to address situations that develop through injury such as a random accident. Remedial massage is focused on relieving chronic pain, tension and stiffness.

Bottom line – both healing therapies are there when you need them to restore your health and wellbeing. A bit of research, consultation with your health care provider and perhaps trying out both modalities will help you choose what to use when. As always, do your research and be aware that it is highly advisable to consult your doctor before undertaking any form of physical therapy.


To a healthy 2022


Be well,




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