Should you see a Physio, EP or Personal Trainer? Are there any differences between them?

As Exercise physiologists are a relatively new health profession, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate or even know what an Exercise Physiologist does.

There is definitely some overlap between all three above listed professions, but at the same time there are differentiations.

We also need to understand the injury/disease timeframe continuum.

This has three parts. Acute (immediately after an injury), Sub-acute (a few weeks after an injury) and Chronic (many months after an injury). This is where Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists work alongside each other. Along the whole injury continuum either Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist are able to effectively treat and assist patients. However, depending on patient expectations, wants/needs and context, one may be more viable than the other. For example, if you are wanting manual therapy for pain relief then you are better suited to seeing a Physiotherapist, but if you want to receive pain relief through movement/exercise, either a Physiotherapist OR Exercise Physiologist will be able to assist.

Now that we have one differentiation out of the way, being that a Physiotherapist can provide pain relief through manual therapy, we can get onto the next one.

When to see an Exercise Physiologist?

The next difference is that if you suffer from a chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, COPD and many others, you are best suited to see an Exercise Physiologist. An Exercise Physiologist can assist you with managing these chronic diseases through exercise and lifestyle changes. Exercise Physiologists have the clinical knowledge to understand how your condition affects you and what side effects your medication may cause, enabling them to create the safest and most effective exercise program specifically for you.

When to see a personal trainer?

Finally, we have a personal trainer. A personal trainer is similar in that they can provide exercise for their clients. However, a personal trainer would be best suited to someone who is relatively injury/pain free and also healthy. By healthy I mean they are not taking prescription medication for the reason of managing a chronic health condition. This is when a personal trainer would be best for you as your risks of injury or experiencing an adverse effect when exercising it quite low.

Above is only a very basic summary, if you require greater understanding or want to ask who would be best for you, call up our clinic and speak to our friendly staff who are more than willing to help.

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