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I often get asked about what Exercise Physiologists do and how they are different from physiotherapists, and given it’s a reasonably new profession, I’m not surprised that people haven’t heard of Exercise Physiologists at all. So this blog will be dedicated to helping you better understand the role of Exercise Physiologists.

Exercise Physiology is a reasonably new profession on the Australian health care scene, and the profession received its first big break through in 2006 when Exercise Physiology services were recognised under Medicare, meaning the government would provide rebates for Exercise Physiology services much in the same way as Physiotherapy and Dietetic services.

So where do Exercise Physiologists fit in the health care landscape?

Exercise Physiologists are university trained allied health professionals and their role in the healthcare system is to provide lifestyle and exercise interventions for the prevention and management of many chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease, Arthritis, Injury rehabilitation and Neurological diseases to name a few.

The key difference that separates Exercise Physiologists from Physiotherapists is that Exercise Physiologists exclusively deal with ‘chronic and complex diseases’ whereas Physiotherapists more commonly manage ‘acute and sub-acute’ conditions such as acute low back and neck pain, ankle sprains, sport injuries, acute post-operative rehabilitation etc.

Moreover Exercise Physiologists solely rely on exercise prescription and lifestyle change for managing chronic disease, whereas Physiotherapists are also able to apply manual therapy.

Therefore the role of Exercise Physiologists is quite unique and I believe they are best positioned to help tackle the current chronic disease epidemic that is ever increasing in Australia. So if you are having trouble in managing your chronic disease, just been diagnosed or just want to lose some extra weight, seeing an Exercise Physiologist may well be worth your while.

At Back to Health Clinic we provide expert Exercise Physiology and Chiropractic services. Our clinical gym has state of the art exercise equipment, and together with your clinical knowledge we are able to diagnosis, treat and manage your condition.

To find an Exercise Physiologist near you, visit the governing body for Exercise Physiologists, ESSA, at www.essa.org.au.


Yours in Good Health,


Back to Health Clinic team