Physiotherapy vs. Sports Therapy

Physiotherapists are also registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which is the statutory regulatory of the profession. Myself and my therapists are not HCPC registered physiotherapists, we are Sports Injury Therapists.

Physiotherapy vs. Sports Therapy

Sports Therapists frequently get referred to as Physiotherapists or Sports Physios and often we find our patients saying “I’m just off for my physio session”. Mostly because saying “I’m going to my Sports Therapy appointment” would probably require a further explanation! But how do we define the difference?

What is the difference between physiotherapy and sports therapy?

Generally Physiotherapy is more medical than Sports Therapy. For example physiotherapists work with serious medical conditions such as a heart attack, a stroke or respiratory condition then your immediate care needs to be carried out by a Physiotherapist. As Sports Therapists we are not trained to help you in your initial recovery. That’s not to say we can’t help further on down the line of course. As Sports Therapists tend to specialise more on the injuries side of things. Both professions can work with musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.

The biggest difference is that Sports Therapist cannot/and do not claim to be Physiotherapists. And rightly so! There are particular medical conditions that you should most definitely see a Physiotherapist rather than a Sports Therapist. However, most of the conditions you would normally associate with needing to go see a Physio, are more than likely something Savage Sports Therapy can help with.

If you are still unsure, get in contact and we can book you in or guide you in the right direction!

What Is Physiotherapy?

Sometimes we find ourselves struggling to explain this to clients. I thought I’d better check the oracle of information that is Wikipedia to give some sort of definition. “Physiotherapy is a rehabilitation profession that promotes improvement in quality of life through diagnosis, examination and treatment.”

What Is Sports Therapy?

Again I thought it would only be fair if we used Wikipedia for a definition of a Sports Therapist. If you would like to have a read yourself here is a link to our governing bodies Society Sports Therapy (SST) page.

“Sports Therapy is concerned with prevention, rehabilitation and treatment of the patient back to optimum occupational and / or sport specific fitness.”

As you can see, the definitions are similar, so we can see why there is a general misconception!

Is a Sports Therapist as Effective as a Physio?

The SST quite rightly points this out on their website that Sports Therapists are not Physiotherapists, but Sports Therapists will apply “physiotherapy” skills because physiotherapy is defined as “the treatment of injury by physical methods including massage and exercise rather than drugs or surgery.”


For more information on any of our therapies, or to discuss your injury, please get in touch with us today: