There is a difference between physical therapist and a personal trainer.
A personal trainer is a fitness professional. Their objectives are to customize a safe and effective exercise and diet regimen for their client, working with them one-on-one mainly to change their eating habits and get them into a daily workout routine so that they can develop the healthier physically fit body they desire. The trainer's role is one of re-habituation. Correcting bad habits that don't lend themselves to a healthy body and lifestyle.
Client versus patient?
A physical therapist is almost always assigned to a patient who is having difficulty resuming a normal healthy lifestyle because of musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and/or cardiothoracic ailments. The professional knowledge, skills and experience of a physical therapist must be far more extensive than a personal trainer. A physical therapist must graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited university, pass a national board exam, and become a health care provider licensed in the state where they practice. In nearly all instances, a physical therapist is part of referral team of medical professionals. The program the therapist designs for the patient must take into consideration how to return their body to a pre-injury, pre-surgery, or pre-illness state of well-being. Similar to the trainer, the therapist will develop an exercise program tailored to the individual. But the goal of physical therapy is rehabilitation. It is much more challenging than retraining a person not to engage in bad habits. It can be an integral part of pain management. The patient should view a physical therapist as an important partner on their journey to recovery.
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