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Is there a difference between Physiotherapy and Neuromuscular Physical Therapy

March 8, 2018 - [email protected]

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What is the difference between Neuromuscular Physical Therapy and Physiotherapy?

The National Training Centre, Ireland’s leading Educator in Health fitness and Bodywork Therapy says the following:

“Physiotherapy is a broad based health care profession that has a special focus on acute musculoskeletal care of the physically active and also deals with a number of diverse medical fields, including oncology, obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics, rheumatology, respiratory and neurological illnesses and burn injury. Neuromuscular Physical Therapy offers a special focus on chronic pain and injury including musculoskeletal injuries related to physical activity but, unlike Physiotherapy, Neuromuscular Physical Therapy has a focus on the pathophysiology, aetiology and treatment of Myofascial Trigger Points. Such specialisation allows students of Neuromuscular Physical Therapy to examine these areas in much greater detail than a student of physiotherapy.”

The broader based field of study undertaken by a Physiotherapists allows them the opportunity to work in the Hospital setting in a designated ward. Rehabilitating patients from all wards. They also have access to more health care machinery and can also refer patients to certain wards within the hospital.

Neuromuscular Physical Therapists cannot refer you to the hospital setting, but can however provide a detailed assessment and report for your General Practitioner. Most Neuromuscular Therapists will have accompanying qualifications, not unlike me, most will be qualified in Trigger point dry needling, sports taping and bracing, first aid,  Exercise and Fitness or other forms of Bodywork and rehabilitation qualifications. Neuromuscular Physical Therapists also gain qualifications to work pitch side and are connected to teams all across the world.

It has been claimed erroneously that there are no registration boards in place to govern other bodywork professionals in Ireland, this is simply not true with both the Association Of Neuromuscular Physical Therapists and also the Irish Association of Physical Therapists in place to regulate and govern both NMT’s and PT’s in Ireland.

The ANMPT states “the objects for which the ANMPT is established are to protect and enhance the rights and privileges of those practising physical therapies including, but not limited to, neuromuscular therapy, physical therapy and sports massage; to promote honourable practice; to repress malpractice; to settle disputed points of practice; to decide questions of professional usage of courtesy; and to establish a register of members.”

With so many skilled therapists in Ireland the choice is endless between, Physio, Physical or Neuromuscular Physical.

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