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Difference Between Kinesiologist and Physiotherapist

physioKinesiologist vs Physiotherapist

A kinesiologist focuses in the study of human movement. His area of study is to speculate the various mechanical elements involved within human movement. Kinesiologists study the entire musculosketeal system and the various complicated ways in which it works. On the other hand, the physiotherapist treats patients who suffer from reduced physical fitness and locomotion due to an accident, illness, injury or aging. Physiotherapy or physical therapy is basically a profession of providing health care services to patients for development and restoration of functional ability.

The basic approach of a kinesiologist is to apply scientifically proven medical principles for the scrutiny, conservation and augmentation of a person’s movements in all settings. They are primarily employed in the fitness and research industry and industrial clinics. The job of a physiotherapist is to work in close coordination with the patients in order to find out and categorize their particular movement problems and seeking an effective solution to improve movements. Their field of work is to devise and develop novel and effective treatment programs, initiate manual therapy, introduce therapeutic exercise and make use of technological equipment for all the above mentioned purposes.

The specialty areas that a kinesiologist deals with are,

  • Health Promotion
  • Ergonomics
  • Clinical Rehabilitation
  • Health and Safety in industrial settings
  • Case Coordination
  • Disability Management
  • Research and Administration of a Health and Safety measures on a National Standard

On the contrary the areas that a physiotherapist deals with are,

  • Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Geriatric physical therapy
  • Neurological physical therapy
  • Orthopedic physical therapy
  • Pediatric physical therapy
  • Integumentary treatment of skin and other related conditions

Kinesiology takes into view the entire body as an interconnected system and tries to trace the various ways in which it moves. The precise purpose is to identify the particular ways in which people tend to get injured or build a strong body or simply play or dance. Physical therapy on the other hand is a vast area spread over a number of areas of focus including orthopedic, neurological, pulmonary, pediatric fields of study and treatment.

1.Kinesiologist focuses in the study of human movement concerning mechanical elements involved within human movement. Physiotherapist treats patients who suffer from reduced physical fitness due to accident, illness, injury and ageing.
2.The kinesiologist applies scientifically proven medical principles for the scrutiny, conservation and augmentation of movements whereas the physiotherapist coordinates with the patients, finding out and categorizing their particular movement problems and seeking solution.

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  1. There are some well painted differences, however they are not finite. I am a Kinesiologist and have worked in labs, hospitals, and clinics with patients who have neurological disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes, and in a cardiac rehab centre. I’ve worked with geriatric, pediatric, pre and post natal individuals; everyone from your neighbour to varsity athletes and pro-teams.

    I’ve found the best combination for working with physiotherapists is one where we compliment one another’s abilities, and stay within our sphere’s of experience and rightful execution of treatment programs. I work with wonderful physiotherapists who are keen to diagnose problems, advise me of the stage of injury/repair that a patient is in, and suggest a list of muscles or movements that need to be strengthened or improved upon. We both know the body, we both know how it heals, and we both know how to improve functional ability through exercise. Since I have a strong research background in clinical exercise therapies and they have a keen sense to diagnose patients thoroughly and quickly, our clinic works more efficiently if they spend their time diagnosing and doing some teaching, and I do a majority of the teaching and monitoring of patient exercises until they are ready to be independent. By maintaining an open dialogue with the physiotherapists, we provide optimal patient care and see a larger volume of patients in the same time period.$$$

    One significant difference you missed was that a Physiotherapist (like a Dr.) is licensed to diagnose injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, whereas a Kinesiologist (like a nurse) is licensed to treat injuries and disorders through implementation of a personalized rehabilitation program.

    • Hi I was looking into this for my son, where are you located?


    • Thank you, Candice. As a Kinesiologist myself I found the same issues you did. I was particularly interested to see that we Kinesiologist actually bring the body back into homeostasis but that was not indicated in the article and seemed marginally favourably oriented towards physiotherapists.

  2. Am also a student of kinesiology,and in my country people take it as irrelevant course.but after seeing all these I love it more,thanks

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