Physical Therapy vs. Massage Therapy — What’s The Difference?

When you’re first met with a pain problem or injury – you immediately try to figure out the best way to solve your issue so you can get back to feeling good again.

Whether the problem has gone on for a long time or you feel you’ve exhausted your options – it’s common for people to try a lot of different ways to get rid of the pain.

➡️Maybe you’ve tried icing or applying heat to the painful area after reading an article or talking to a friend about the pain.

➡️Maybe you’ve been advised that pain medications will help for now and then the pain will disappear on its own, depending on the severity or the type of pain.

➡️Maybe you’ve tried putting exercising on pause in hopes that your pain will go away during the downtime.

While these options seem like they can provide the relief you’re looking for — sometimes the problem is a little deeper than that. You feel like you try solution after solution only to find that the pain comes back and you just can’t seem to figure out why.

After doing research and trying multiple solutions – massage and physical therapy are some of the only options left.

Both have similar goals for patients — to help restore some sort of regular function and/or mobility and relieve pain. But, what’s the difference between the two?

Better yet — which one is the better option when it comes to relieving your pain?

Do Physical Therapists Do Massage?

As mentioned before, while both therapy practices have similar end goals for the patient — it’s important to note the differences between the two. Knowing the difference between the two types of therapy will allow you to make a proper decision on what can help fix your pain problem.

Massage Therapy

The main goal of massage therapy is to target the painful area and work using massage techniques to release tension and increase flexibility. What this does for the patient is help you feel more relaxed, relieve stress, and even reduce pain.

That being said, massage therapy has its benefits. If you’re someone who is looking to release tension and relax — massage therapy is perfect for you.

But if you’re someone experiencing shoulder, knee, or back pain that just won’t go away no matter what you try – there might be a deeper issue that a physical therapist can help you fix.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy works to provide rehabilitation and improve strength and mobility and function to those who have experienced pain or an injury due to physical activity or other factors.

Physical Therapy helps people with pain problems such as neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain, foot/ankle pain, and decreased function due to these issues. You should work with a Physical Therapist who specializes in treating the specific issue you’re dealing with. Are you just looking for a quick fix or are you interested in solving your problem?

Physical therapy is necessary when there needs to be specialized care based on the patient and the pain problem they’re currently experiencing. The physical therapist works with them to devise a treatment plan to get them back to being fully functional and mobile again. This provides long-term pain relief and real results that won’t leave you feeling frustrated that you can’t seem to find a way to fix the pain problem you continue to experience.

Here at Wellness Rehabilitation Inc. we spend time on the phone with you in the first phone call to decipher what the issue may be and if you are appropriate for our clinic. We have received many calls from people asking for massage rehab/therapy, not really understanding what it is and how it can resolve their problem. They may be having headaches, can’t sleep, having difficulty walking or doing stairs. The symptoms may be tension in the muscles, but the underlying root cause is coming from a joint, the spine, poor movement patterns or body mechanics, or even poor sleeping positions or workstation setups.

This is what physical therapy will help you with – to gain back your function, independence, and mobility to return to the activities you love to do.

Now You Know

Now you know the difference between massage and physical therapy. Hopefully, this gives you a little insight into what each therapy can help you with and why. Depending on what you’re experiencing and what issues you’d like to have resolved — there are solutions out there waiting for you. Click here to schedule a Free 20 minute call to discuss your issues and see how we can help you on your road to being fully functional again.

Whether you’re looking to relieve some pain with massage therapy or looking to heal an injury that’s left you feeling frustrated — knowing the difference between each therapy can help narrow down your decision-making and trust that you’re making the best choice for you and your health.

Cynthia Weiss

We Help Women To Increase Their Confidence In Achieving Their Goals Of Having An Independent & Mobile Lifestyle Without The Use Of Pain Medications Or Surgery.