A physical therapist versus a personal trainer. There is a major difference between a physical therapist and a personal trainer. Do you know the difference? Do you know which one you need? Is it possible for you to need both? Hope this article answers your questions.
What is a Physical Therapist?
In the United States, a physical therapist is a health professional licensed by the state who is qualified to implement indirect and direct care for a patient with the goal of rehabilitating normal body operations after an injury, post-surgery, or for a chronic malady. There are no age requirements. A physical therapist can provide treatment to individuals of all ages.
Singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan was in a bus accident several years ago and suffered a severe spinal injury (she broke her back). The skills of a physical therapist were needed to help her regain her health. She desired to walk again, to dance, and even to have children. Ms. Estefan was able to achieve her health goals. Indeed, she was so pleased with the treatment received that she now supports research to cure paralysis.
What is a Personal Trainer?
A personal trainer is a fitness professional. Their objectives are to customize a safe and effective exercise and diet regimen for their client. They work with the trainee (the client) one-on-one, mainly to change their eating habits and get them into a daily workout routine. The health and fitness goal is for them to develop the healthier physically fit body they desire. The trainer’s role is one of re-habituation. Correcting bad habits that don’t lend themselves to maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle.
Client versus patient?
A physical therapist is almost always assigned to a patient who is having difficulty resuming a normal healthy lifestyle.
- A qualified and competent physical therapist must possess knowledge, skills, and experience far more extensive than that of a personal trainer. They must know about musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and/or cardiothoracic ailments.
- In the United States, a physical therapist must graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited university, pass a national board exam, and become a health care provider licensed in the state where they practice.
- In nearly all instances, a physical therapist is part of a referral team of medical professionals.
- The program the therapist designs for the patient must take into consideration how to return their body to a pre-injury, pre-surgery, or pre-illness state of well-being. Similar to the trainer, the therapist will develop an exercise program tailored to the individual; but the goal of physical therapy is rehabilitation.
- Physical therapy can be an integral part of pain management. The patient should view a physical therapist as an important partner on their journey to recovery.
Questions You Can Now Answer
Based on the information provided:
Do you now understand the critical difference between a physical therapist and a personal trainer?
Do you know which one you need?