Do I Need Physiotherapy Or Massage Therapy?

Massage and physiotherapy go hand in hand. Many people often mistake the difference between the two. It’s important to make that distinction when determining whether you need a physiotherapist or a massage therapist-or both!


Keep in mind that massage therapy falls under the category of an alternative health solution, while physiotherapy is considered a medical treatment. While both therapists require licenses to operate in Ontario, they are still vastly different in the required degree and education required for each.


Most physiotherapists incorporate massage therapy in their treatment sessions. To determine what it is you need exactly, it’s important you understand the root cause of your symptoms so you choose the best type of treatment for your ailment. One trip to the physiotherapist may save you loads of time and money if they can accurately diagnose the source of your pain.

What exactly is physiotherapy?

The definition of physiotherapy is the treatment of an illness, injury or disability to increase mobility and improve how your body functions. Physiotherapy, often referred to as physical therapy, is a series of sessions with a therapist who utilizes manual manipulation, exercise and teaches increased awareness of the ailment and the ways it will improve.

When do you need physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is used to treat a large cross section of symptoms that stem from old or new injuries. Some of the most common symptoms that patients will complain about are:


  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Ankle pain
  • Wrist pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain


Any of these conditions could be the result of stiff muscles, surgery, mobility issues, and old injuries.

Old injuries

Injuries from your past can come back to haunt you. If they never healed correctly, you may need a physiotherapist to work out the associated issues. Corrective exercises can help your muscles relearn the proper way to function and over time can eliminate recurring discomfort and pain.

Stiff muscles

If you’ve had a sports injury, fracture, strain or sprain of any kind a physiotherapist is the perfect solution. By employing manual manipulation and joint mobilization techniques, a physiotherapist can reduce the stress and pain experienced with stiff muscles.

Mobility issues

Physiotherapy teaches people how to retrain specific motor functions. It is an ideal remedy for those who have mobility issues from moderate to serious injuries. It can also add range of motion to those with more serious and permanent conditions (for example arthritis or MS).


Physiotherapy provides the perfect solution for rehabilitating patients who have undergone surgeries that require on-going treatment to restore motor functions and joint mobility.

The definition of massage therapy

Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues to relieve stress, stiffness and discomfort of muscles, tendons and ligaments. The effects of massage therapy increase health and well-being.

When do you need massage therapy?

Massage therapy is used for a number of reasons including pregnancy, stiff muscles, pain, depressions, anxiety, improving circulation and detoxifying your body. A massage therapist can pinpoint areas in your body that are distressed, stiff and need manipulation in order to release the tension in your body.


Extremely tight muscles can be the source of headaches, poor circulation, back pain, and many other associated types of body pain. Some people experience constant pain with ailments (such as arthritis), which can be alleviated with regular massage therapy sessions.


Athletes who train daily can experience better performance when they are strategically having muscle stiffness alleviated through massage therapy. It isn’t uncommon for massage therapy to be recommended after injuries or surgeries to reduce the pain and stiffness associated.

Speak to your therapist for the best advice

The best possible idea to eliminate the pain in your life permanently is to speak with your therapist about your long-term goal. Our massage therapist will tell you whether your problem requires the help of a medical professional or not. Many cases can be solved by massage therapy, however, there are also those that need the skilled healing hands of a physiotherapist.


For the best physiotherapy Eglinton Ave East offers, you need to see Michael at the Global Health Physiotherapy Clinic. They employ a five-step process that takes you on a healing journey. It starts with the identification of your source injury to the treatment of your symptoms and the education of how to achieve a pain-free life.


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