Corrective Exercise Specialist VS Physical Therapist | What You Need to Know

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Corrective exercise specialists are becoming increasingly popular when talking about fitness and physical therapy Dallas. However, there is still quite a lot of confusion on this topic.

Most people are aware of physical therapists. But, is physical therapy the same as corrective exercise? What are the differences? Read on to find out!

Who are Corrective Exercise Specialists?

Corrective exercise specialists are fitness professionals, just like personal trainers or conditioning coaches. A corrective exercise specialist is quite helpful in the fitness industry. As it allows them to help their clients to avoid serious injuries and to move better overall. 

Moreover, corrective exercise specialists make use of corrective exercises in order to analyze and determine the root causes of imbalances and faulty movement patterns in a person’s body that may result in problems like bad posture and less body coordination.

However, it is important to know that a corrective exercise specialist is not really a medical professional. Because of which they are not able to diagnose a medical condition or give manual therapy to their clients. But, they carry out their job by evaluating and assessing each individual’s movement and posture. 

In most cases, they look for the overall ability to move well, movement patterns, and also look for any movement restrictions, muscle dysfunction. And musculoskeletal system for any imbalances that might be present. 

Such imbalances that a corrective exercise specialist may look for will be shortened hip flexors, forward head posture, rounded spine, and anteriorly rotated shoulders

Who are Physical Therapists?

On the other hand, physical therapists are healthcare professionals whose nature of job revolves around promoting body healing through physical exercises and workouts. 

They are certified professionals that help patients heal and regain strength without undergoing surgeries or risky medical procedures. 

Physical therapist’s main objectives are to help sick or injured individuals for far better movement, pain management, and recovery, and also evaluate and record their progress. They are an important part of preventive care of patients, as well as rehabilitation, and also treating patients with chronic conditions, diseases, illnesses, or severe injuries.

A physical therapist, however, must have a doctorate in order to work with patients. This also includes a bachelor’s degree, which most commonly takes six to seven years to complete. Moreover, they are also a licensed healthcare provider, which means they can diagnose an injury or condition and also treat them. Unlike corrective exercise specialists.

In most cases, physical therapists are able to treat acute or chronic injuries. Their main objective is to teach their patients to manage or rehabilitate their injury or condition.

Difference Between Corrective Exercise Specialists and Physical Therapists

Both physical therapists and corrective exercise specialists have the same aim- to alleviate and reduce pain in individuals, and also to improve their movement capabilities. 

But, the way both work with and treat a client is very different. As mentioned earlier, physical therapists have licensed healthcare professionals who work in order to treat various medical diagnoses in patients, as well as physical trauma, or other injuries (such as rotator cuff tear, achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, etc). Moreover, physical therapy is also considered as an alternative to orthopedic surgery.

However, the tasks and responsibilities of corrective exercise specialists are quite distinct as these types of specialists do not diagnose or treat a medical condition in their clients. But instead, they make use of their special skills and also assess and evaluate their client’s musculoskeletal system for any soft tissues, movement restrictions, imbalances, habitual patterns, and muscle dysfunction that can negatively affect an individual’s ability to move well, exercise effectively and also perform daily activities easily. 

This knowledge that corrective exercise specialists possess greatly helps them to design and implement corrective exercise programs and plans in order to assist their clients in the beginning. And continuing a fitness program without them suffering from any pain or movement limitations. 

However, in case a client’s musculoskeletal issues do not necessarily address well with the appropriate exercises alone, is far from the corrective exercise specialist trainer’s reach or practice, the individual is then/should be referred to medical experts for treatment.

Benefits of Physical Therapy 

There are several benefits of using physical therapy.

Notably, all these perks are also associated with corrective exercises. The only difference is physical therapy involves a certified physiotherapist. While corrective specialists do not necessarily have to hold a degree to practice their skills. 

Improves performance

Corrective exercises can greatly help uncover any muscle weaknesses, stiff joints, or even poor motor control. All this helps to significantly improve performance even more.

Reduce Injury Risk

Because a corrective exercise specialist plans and designs a training program with numerous workouts, this makes the individual’s muscles and joints have proper strength and mobility. Through this, the whole nervous system can then easily control muscle activation. Therefore, in case individual trips or falls, or even accidentally bumps into something. The body will be able to respond in a way that reduces the risk of injury.

Help reduce pain

When corrective exercises are done regularly, along with proper chiropractic care and acupuncture. These can provide great relief for various types of pain, like joint and neck pain, and even sciatica.

Long-term benefit

The benefits of corrective exercises are apparent in the long term as well. For instance, spinal manipulation and mobilization combined with corrective exercise can help provide individuals with long-term benefits for pain management and functional improvement.

Improved posture

Corrective exercises greatly help in the improvement of the body’s neuromuscular control and movement patterns, which as a result, helps improve a person’s posture.

Increased blood flow and circulation

Exercise leads to an increased blood flow in the body, and as a result, better overall circulation. This, as a result, promotes tissue healing, significantly reduces swelling, as well as pain.

Increased strength

Corrective exercises help a person to develop and strengthen the key muscles in the body. Moreover, it also promotes flexibility and endurance in an individual.

Improved wellbeing

Apart from the improved health and physical issues, exercise also has a very positive impact on individuals. Due to the perceived positive sense of wellness and well-being.


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