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What's the Difference: Do I Need to See a Physiotherapist or an Exercise Physiologist?

Physiotherapists assess, diagnose and treat conditions, disabilities and disorders that affect the movement and function of your body. Physios:

  • Provide hands-on evaluation, assessment and treatment.

  • Prescribe therapeutic exercises.

  • Work across all phases of injuries from acute, to sub-acute, to chronic.

Exercise Physiologists develop fitness and exercise programs that help participants recover from chronic disease, injury or illness by improving cardiovascular function, muscle/bone strength, flexibility and persistent pain levels.


Exercise physiologists will use a thorough assessment to tailor an individualised and specific exercise program to better manage your chronic condition, pain or injury and improve your quality of life. Exercise physiologists:

  • Use thorough assessments to highlight focus areas and goals that form the basis of your individualised exercise plan.

  • Give you the knowledge and skills to self-manage chronic disease, injury and persistent pain yourself.

  • Create tailored exercise programs to improve your fitness, aid pre- and post-operative rehabilitation and manage chronic conditions/pain.

Not sure when to see an exercise physiologist? If you're seeing a physiotherapist, ask about exercise physiology.

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