Physiotherapy is concerned with assessing, treating and preventing movement dysfunction and pain. Physiotherapists vary in their skill set and approaches based on post-degree education. An orthopaedic and sports physiotherapist is a degreed allied health practitioner skilled in orthopaedic and neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis, treatment and management of patients. Rehabilitation, manipulation and massage are in the scope of practice of the physiotherapist. These practitioners are accredited by and required to be members of the HPSCA (Health Professional Council of South Africa) and the SASP (South African Society of Physiotherapy).
A “bio”, as biokineticists are often called, is an allied health practitioner specialised in the rehabilitative modality of exercise. Being degreed individuals, they are educated in final phase rehabilitation and prescriptive exercise interventions for the health promotion and maintenance. The scope of practice of biokinetics does not include the manual physiotherapeutic approaches of mobilisation, manipulation, dry needling and direct soft tissue release of the musculoskeletal system. These practitioners are accredited by & required to be members of the HPSCA as well as BASA (Biokinetics Association of South Africa).
A chiropractor is also a degreed practitioner. Chiropractic involves adjustments of the subluxation complex of the spine. These adjustments, when appropriately applied, are very effective when administered by a skilled Chiropractor. They are not, however, a fix-all for all spinal pain or pathology. Some chiropractors administer treatment to areas beyond the spine and may employ modalities similar to those used in physiotherapy. These practitioners are governed by the Allied Health Professional Council and not the HPSCA (Health Professional Council of South Africa).
Massage is very useful for therapeutic or relaxation purposes. There are dozens of types of massage therapies example Swedish massage, aromatherapy, Thai massage, etc. Massage therapists are certified by their institute of learning, &are not in any way educated in diagnosis or rehabilitation.