Athletic Therapy Blog Competitive Edge Sport Therapy

You Mean “Rehab”, Not “Physio”

So a while ago I wrote a blog about the difference between “Sports therapy” and “Athletic Therapy” and how to use our professional title correctly. If you haven’t seen it, you can read it here.

But it generated quite a bit of attention and it got me thinking about other words that we (you know I mean the global “we”) may be using incorrectly. And this one is for sure the runner up.

… “PHYSIO” …

As in “I need to book my physio”, “My doctor told me I need physio” ” I need to do my physio”, etc, etc.

Well, what if I tell you that the word you are actually searching for to fill this sentence is actually “REHAB”.

You likely need to book a rehab appointment (whether that be seeing a physiotherapist, athletic therapist, chiropractor, etc), and your doctor likely thinks that you need injury rehabilitation to work on alignment, stability, mobility, correcting compensation patterns, and so on. And, yes, you need to do your (you guessed it!) … rehab exercises. But none of this is “physio”.

“Physio” is a slang term for a physiotherapist. BUT a physiotherapist is not the only type of health care practitioner that can help you with your injury rehabilitation.  As previously mentioned, there are lots of professionals out there who’s main niche is helping you recover from an injury, ache or pain, each with their slight differences, specialty or niche.

“Physio” therefore is a profession and maybe even a person if you’re referring to someone specific. “Physio” is not a verb as in to ” do your physio” and it’s not a noun as in “I need to go to physio”.


So again… why am I being so darn picky!?!?

Well, as an Athletic Therapist, it sure can be misleading when one of my clients explains to a friend or family member that they need to remember to “do their physio”. This other person would likely assume that they are seeing a physiotherapist for assistance in their injury recovery. Which, in this situation, is incorrect; they are seeing an Athletic Therapist (two different professions! Again – read my previous post if you haven’t already).  And when you start to feel better and then start to feel amazing, who gets the credit for our hard work…. you guessed it- the “physio” profession.

Small changes to the words you use to describe your beloved Athletic Therapist and the “Rehab” that you do with them goes a long way in helping us gain the public recognition that we deserve!

So the next time you catch yourself saying ” physio”. Just think… do I mean “physio” or do I mean “rehab”.


The Competitive Edge Team!