Nova Active Rehab - ICBC Services

Massage Versus Physiotherapy


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Let's Talk Massage Versus Physiotherapy

Are you unsure of what treatment modality would work best for you? Are you thinking of participating in massage therapy or physiotherapy to manage chronic pain or to recover from an injury? You may be wondering what the difference is between massage therapy and physiotherapy and if there are similarities.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is defined as the manipulation of the muscles and other soft tissues of the body for therapeutic purposes according to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary.  Massage therapists use various hands on techniques, such as kneading, vibration, and trigger point releases. Massage helps to move the muscle and fascia around.

Benefits of Massage

There are many benefits to participating in massage therapy. Here are the primarily benefits:

  • decreasing pain and swelling
  • improving circulation
  • decreasing muscle tightness
  • improving flexibility


Physiotherapy involves assessment, treatment and management of pain, injuries and chronic medical issues.

Similarities Between Massage And Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists may use massage therapy techniques as part of their treatment, but they also do mobilization and manipulations to help with improving joint mobility.

Massage Therapy

Differences Between Massage and Physiotherapy


For the more acute cases, physiotherapists use various machines as part of treatment, such as ultrasound and interferential current, to help with symptom relief. Interferential current (IFC) also helps with circulation. In cases where patients are suffering from chronic pain, physiotherapists use acupuncture and intramuscular stimulation (IMS) needles to help with symptom relief, decreasing muscle tightness and improving circulation.

Movement Patterns And Exercise

Physiotherapists look at your movement patterns to see how they affect the injury itself. They assist the patient in correcting their poor movement or posture habits that may be contributing to the injury itself. Physios provide exercises to help stretch out the tight muscles and strengthen the weak muscles. They also prescribe balance and proprioception exercises.

Nova Active Rehab - ICBC Services

There are many benefits to attending massage therapy and physiotherapy. If you would like to start or add physiotherapy treatments to your treatment plan, please reach out to us! We would be happy to provide you with more information and get you on your way to feeling better!


Merriam-Webster. “Massage Therapy”. Accessed July 20, 2021.


Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia. “What is Physiotherapy?” Accessed July 20, 2021