Have you suffered an injury that is preventing you from returning to work or simply holding you back from living life to the fullest? Perhaps you have chronically weak bones and joints or medical conditions such as osteoporosis or arthritis. Alternatively, you may simply be an individual seeking to get the most out of your body by achieving a level of physical health, fitness, and agility that will allow you to all manner of goals and interests.
For any of the above reasons and more, you may be considering booking an appointment with an exercise physiologist. The answers to the following questions will help you prepare to take that step.
Is an exercise physiologist a doctor?
An exercise physiologist is not a medical doctor. The distinction here is quite straightforward: a medical doctor is someone who has completed a bachelor’s degree and has then been admitted to medical school to earn a medical degree. With eight years of study and another three to seven years spent completing a residency program at a hospital or clinic, it takes more than a decade to become a medical doctor.
On the other hand, an exercise physiologist can become an accredited and thus fully qualified health professional with either a four-year undergraduate degree in exercise science or complete an additional year for a Master of Exercise Physiology degree.
As an accredited health professional, an exercise physiologist helps patients regain, improve, or maintain good health and is qualified to assist patients with heart disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes or lung, bone, and joint disease.
What is the difference between an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist?
Firstly, compared to physiotherapy, exercise physiology is a considerably newer profession.
Similarly to an exercise physiologist, a physiotherapist is not a medical doctor and can become a fully qualified health professional with a four-year undergraduate degree or become a Master in five years. Additionally, a Doctor of Physiotherapy degree can be achieved in six years of study.
While there are many similarities between exercise physiologists and physiotherapists, especially in terms of studying the body’s physiological processes, the differences between the two professions reveal themselves primarily in the applications of this study.
A physiotherapist will first analyze their patient and determine the intensity of their condition and then apply practices such as therapeutic exercise and massage, joint mobilization and manipulation, or electrotherapy to treat these conditions.
An exercise physiologist, however, creates a treatment plan that incorporates continued analysis of a patient’s fitness as well as lifestyle changes and behaviour modification to improve overall vitality.
Where a physiotherapist will specialise in helping patients recover from or learn to live with chronic conditions, an exercise physiologist can also branch out into other areas relating to physical health and fitness. Some types of therapy that may be recommended include hydrotherapy which can be an excellent for treating sore muscles or joints, click this link if you are looking for a hydrotherapy pool in Brisbane.
In a way, you can see an exercise physiologist as a cross between a physiotherapist, personal trainer, and life coach. Besides being equally qualified to treat people who want to improve overall fitness as well as those suffering from injuries or chronic illness, an exercise physiologist can patients reevaluate their lifestyle, set goals, and maintain motivation.
What can you expect from an appointment with an exercise physiologist?
During your first appointment, the exercise physiologist will put together a dossier of your medical history as well as assess your current physical capabilities by asking you to perform a variety of activities. If you are from Brisbane and are looking for an exercise physiologist then I recommend visiting this clinic, these physiologists will help you set up goals and design a personalised program. Often, this program will involve performing exercises under close supervision although they may recommend things you can try on your own.