Massage Therapy VS Physiotherapy What’s The Difference?

woman getting massage therapy

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Many ask, I am having pain should I see a Physiotherapist or Massage Therapist?

The answer is both are very effective to treat pain. 

Winnipeg Massage Therapy is geared toward symptom management and pain relief. Resulting in a more immediate form of pain relief. Massage Therapists typically does not provide primary care for injuries, though they can help as a part of an overall treatment plan. 

Whereas Physiotherapy focuses more on why the pain is there and where it is coming from. They investigate your joint movement, strength, soft tissue consistency, and body mechanics to determine causation. This is a more long-term form of pain relief resulting in rehabilitation the area. For example, you may suffer from chronic knee pain. Perhaps it comes and goes depending on how strenuous your activities have been, yard work, workload etc. This chronic knee pain, however, could be coming from your back.

Many people see both Physiotherapy and Massage therapy at once as they can both work very well in unison to get you feeling your best faster, as well as, get to the root cause of the problem.

However, if you would like to see one or the other you could ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Do I know the root cause of the pain or problem?
  • Have I ever had this before? If so, which treatment seemed to work the best for me?
  • What do I want to achieve with this treatment? If your answer is pain relief both professions would help you. If your answer is find our why this injury is reoccurring and prevent it from returning, Physio would be right for you.
  • Do I want to achieve for flexibility and strength? Physio would be the best answer for this as well.

Let’s chat more about PHYSIOTHERAPY:

Physiotherapist’s are trained to treat a  broad array of medical conditions. Physiotherapists have a University degree and are primary health care providers skilled to assess, diagnose, and treat a variety of health conditions. 

They incorporate their comprehensive knowledge of the human body and translate it into a customized treatment plan specific to the individual, injury, diagnoses and goals.

 What does Physiotherapy treatment include?

Manual Therapy

Physiotherapists are highly skilled and trained in manual (“hands on”) Physiotherapy. Our team feels Manual Therapy is an asset to overall patient recovery and symptom management such that we provide longer treatment times to ensure a more thorough treatment experience and more time for hands on manual therapy and one on one time with your Physiotherapist. 

Manual therapy involves the treatment of several musculoskeletal diagnoses by the use of the Physiotherapist’s hands. Such as, soft tissue release, acupressure or trigger point release, joint mobilizations and/or manipulation, manual traction (elongating the spine), passive stretches and/ or muscle energy techniques.

Exercise Program

A Physiotherapist’s goals are to improve your movement, strength and pain level. To keep the pain relief benefits of the hands on Physiotherapy discussed, as well as, improve strength and flexibility specific exercises will be given to you. These will be based on your diagnosis, your goals, hobbies, as well as, occupation thus leaving you with a personalized exercise program.

For most areas of pain stretches to the joints and/or muscles are given. As well as, strengthening to the specific muscle group being rehabilitated. These are supplied by Fit4Life via our Online exercise program (you can print a spreadsheet to keep track, view photos, videos and instruction of how the exercise is performed).


Education will always be given on the nature of your diagnosis and what types of things will be incorporated into your treatment plan to get you back to feeling your best. Education on “hurt vs harm” and things to avoid or activity restrictions are very commonly discussed. 


Other things that may be incorporated into your treatment include taping, acupuncture, ultrasound and/or laser which are modalities to reduce swelling (to reduce swelling).  

Please contact us if you have further questions on which designation would best help you! Contact us to book your Henderson physiotherapy appointment today.

Contact Fit4Life for a quick consultation

As one of the best physiotherapy clinics in Winnipeg, we will be hapy to assist you!

Call us for a quick consultation at
+1 (204) 813-3484
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If you cannot find an appointment time that best suits you please contact the clinic OR email your physiotherapist and we will do our best to accommodate you!