Physiotherapy or Physical Therapy...What's the Difference?

Many of you might be wondering why we chose to call ourselves Catalyst Physiotherapy instead of Physical Therapy.   After all, Sarah and I are licensed, board certified Physical Therapists (PTs), so why the change in wording?  Is there a difference and, if so, what does it matter? 

Traditionally, in the United States, health care practitioners licensed to practice Physical Therapy have been referred to as Physical Therapists.  Some states have full direct access but many states have limited direct access, which requires a physician referral for a patient to receive treatment.

Internationally, Physical Therapists are more commonly called Physiotherapists.  Physiotherapy in the US and around the world is similar with a few exceptions. In some countries, PT’s have full direct access capabilities which means patients can walk into a PT clinic off the street for evaluation and treatment don’t need a physician referral to be seen. 

In countries with full direct access, PT’s serve as primary care providers in the health care community; playing a front line roll in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease and injury.

Physiotherapy implies a model of health care where health, fitness, prevention and well-being are the focus.  We have a passion for filling the gaps in our community's health resources by leading fitness clinics, educational seminars, and health classes in tandem with treatment after injury or surgery. We want to provide you and your family with care that fortifies all aspects of your life.

In the US, PT has largely been contained to rehabilitation following injury or surgery.  This has limited most people’s exposure to PT after something bad has happened.  In this environment pain is often an issue and PT has been dubbed “pain and torture” which has created a negative and limited view of what the profession can offer. 

A re-branding campaign is under way to improve upon this image and educate the public on all that PT has to offer.  

We can make a large impact, not just after an injury or surgery but before a bad event or before an illness like diabetes takes hold of your life.

We are making a strong push to better impact the health of our community and our name is fitting of that vision.  We view ourselves as a different and unique style health care practice and feel Physiotherapy reflects that unique quality.  

Check us out and see for yourself!


Jason Robinson, PT, SCS, PES, CSCS                                      Sarah K. Greenhagen, DPT, GCS