While the terms physical therapy and physiotherapy are often used interchangeably in the United States, they have distinct meanings in many other parts of the world, like the U.K. and Australia.   

Think about the difference between the words physical and physiological. "Physical" refers to the body itself, while "physiological" refers to the body’s functions. Physical therapy is traditionally concerned with what the body is doing on the outside. The focus is on exercises, movements like the Y-Balance or Star Excursion Balance Test, and protocols designed to increase strength, balance movement patterns, or improve stability.

On the other hand, physiotherapy often includes manual techniques such as assisted stretching, joint mobilizations, or soft tissue mobilization work like massage, Rolfing, or Active Release Techniques.  

The boundary between these fields is increasingly blurry, as pathways to continuing education become increasingly diverse and available. It’s now common to find physical therapists who integrate manual techniques into their practices, and manual therapists who end their sessions with recommendationed at-home exercises rooted in physical therapy methods.  

Where Cipher Skin Fits In

The Cipher Skin BioSleeve provides easy, convenient, and highly accurate motion tracking and is a valuable addition to either physical therapy or physiotherapy.

For example, we’ve worked with manual therapists who coach people in at-home methods for self-myofascial release using simple implements like foam rollers and specially designed balls. By integrating the BioSleeve into this practice, they’re able to test and re-test people before and after doing various techniques and validate the improvements that people can make in their range of motion.  

A client can measure their overhead reach, go through a few minutes of soft tissue work, and then re-test their overhead reach and see the improvement immediately reflected in several degrees of increased mobility.  

Recovery with the BioSleeve | Cipher SkinLikewise, physical therapists frequently use motion tests such as the Y-Balance test or Star Excursion Balance Test. By using the pre-loaded protocols in the Cipher Skin Digital Mirror app, they are able to improve the accuracy, ease, and speed of this process. The BioSleeve will instantly measure their patient’s range of motion scores on these tests, display that data, and store it automatically in a database for accurate record-keeping.  
Whether you’re a physical therapist, a physiotherapist, or a recovering patient of either, the Cipher Skin BioSleeve is an effective device that helps improvethe quality of your treatments and bridges the gap between at-home and in-person therapy sessions.