Remedial Massage vs Physiotherapy
We’ve all done it – or over done it.
Played footy on the weekend and pulled up sore.
Smashed some PB’s in the gym.
Decided walking back from the city to Pascoe Vale would be a better idea than waiting on another over crowded train.
When we over do it compared with our normal day to day our body tells us “thanks mate, here, have some stiffness and soreness”. When this happens we search for answers, let me give you a few on the difference between remedial massage vs physiotherapy.
What is Remedial Massage?
Remedial massage is a hands-on treatment to help improve soft tissue quality and restore their function. The aim of this type of massage is to relieve pain, decrease muscle spasm, improve mobility and promote healing of injured tissues.
When thinking in terms of remedial massage vs physiotherapy the remedial massage therapist is someone who will be able to get their hands on you for some short term relief.
Who Can Perform Remedial Massage?
To be qualified and practice as a remedial massage therapist, practitioners have to undergo training in human physiology, biomechanics and understand the common pathologies contributing to injuries or pain.
Coming back to remedial massage vs physiotherapy, in Australia remedial massage therapists are under the purview of Australian Association of Massage Therapists. Physios are regulated by AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). AHPRA regulates physiotherapists as well as most allied health (podiatrists, occupational therapists etc) as well as nurses, doctors and surgeons.
To be a physio you must achieve and maintain strict competencies, ongoing professional education more in line with what is expected from our top medical and health professions.
What is Physiotherapy? And What is a Physio Sports Massage?
Physiotherapy is the title of the profession who knows all about the musculoskeletal system in your body. How it works, how it trains, how it can become stiff and sore. A physiotherapist at PridePlus Health has at least a Master’s degree in physiotherapy (our team also has higher levels of study and experience cos hey – we like to learn!).
The physio sports massage service here at PridePlus Health is provided by none other than Dominic, one of our resident physios in Pascoe Vale. Dominic is also a strength and conditioning coach and experienced massage therapist working with elite athletes and performance artists.
Let’s get Dominic to explain what this is all about. Dominic – take it away.
Unlike what the name suggests, benefits of physio sports massage is just not limited to athletes. While remedial massage focuses primarily on local tissue impairments, physio sports massage targets global movement related issues to help you move more efficiently.
If you think that you are moving fine just as you are right now. Think twice about that. Recent studies have found that people are not “feeling” their body as much as they thought so.
To find out more about that, we would put you through a set of movement assessments. From what we have found we’d organise a soft tissue treatment and home-exercise program specifically for you.
The goal of each session is to improve movement awareness, mobility and muscle activation.
Within 1 session you would expect to feel your joints “freed” and able to reconnect with your movements and muscles like you have “never felt before”!
Sounds pretty good right?
That’s because with massage we know that when performed by another it can excite 100 x more neurons than when we try to self massage.
So if you have difficulty bending, twisting, moving into positions or getting your muscles firing a physio sports massage is for you!
Advantages of Physio Sports Massage
You may have your trustworthy go-to remedial massage therapist who never fails to ease your usual ache and sores. In fact as a physio cum massage therapist, the methods I use are not much different from what a remedial massage therapist would typically utilise. So in terms of techniques, I don’t think there would be much difference.
However, it can be tough finding a remedial therapist who is both proficient and relatable to your needs and the sweet spot that you desperately need a rub. If you have found a keeper, stick to them.
Now, I would highly recommend you to see a Physiotherapist if you have long standing aches, sore, injuries that never seem to resolve. Due to the differences in training, there are some conditions your remedial massage therapist would not be able to help you with. Have a look at the table below.
While massages, regardless of who is offering it, can be effective in improving pain, mobility and promoting healing, most of the time effects are only temporary. That is why at PridePlus Health we recommend Physio Sports Massage primarily to improve movement awareness or if you have an existing condition which requires additional attention.
Should I Book a Physiotherapy or Physio Sports Massage Session?
Seeing as both a physiotherapy session and a physio sports massage are options for when you’re sore after overdoing it, here’s a little guide on when to choose one or the other.
If you have an existing injury or experiencing pain, it is recommended to first book a physiotherapy session to rule out any conditions that are contraindicated to sports massage. With acute injury, joint stiffness or muscle tightness can be protective especially in the early stages. In such cases, sports massage would not provide any benefit.
In Pascoe Vale our physiotherapy sessions are 30 minutes long – the perfect duration session for when you’re busy and have a complex musculoskeletal challenge to work through.
Our physio sports massage sessions are a full 60 minutes so you get plenty of time to get right into what and why your body is feeling like a bundle of knots. There’s heaps of hands on appropriate therapy and time still for the assessment and guidance on what to do next.