Should you see a Physiotherapist or an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) ?

We hear this question all the time! Should I see..

…a Physio or an Exercise Physiologist?


To answer this question we need to give you a rough guide to each Allied Health ‘Scope of Practice’.

Let’s ask our Governing Bodies!

ESSA (Exercise and Sports Science Australia) state “AEPs are recognised allied health professionals displaying a diverse range of knowledge and skills, working autonomously across a variety of areas and target pathologies…” Click here for full text.

Australian Physio Association state “Scope of practice is dynamic. Some roles which are currently considered advanced or extended now may not be in the future. As a consequence, it is inappropriate to publish a list of tasks / activities
that are considered either within or outside of physiotherapist’s scope of practice” Click here for full text.

Honestly, I only put this is there to tick off the “make sure you reference governing bodies” box. Now I’ll explain it properly…


The main difference you need to understand is that Physiotherapists have the ability to diagnose and use manual therapy as a treatment modality. Exercise Physiologists cannot diagnose or use these techniques. We can both prescribe exercise as treatment, however you will find that AEP’s have the training and scope to take that exercise program further (in most cases). As AEP’s we also have some education in Nutrition guidelines, however we will always work closely with Dietitians to ensure you receive the best advice and guidance. 

If you are thinking in line with 1 or more of the following statements we would recommend you see your local Physiotherapist before co-treatment (everyone has an amazing Physio you HAVE to see):

  • I’m in pain that has occurred quite recently and I’m not sure what it is.
  • I feel like I need some manual therapy to help with my pain/injury.
  • I would like a diagnosis of my injury after playing sport over the weekend.
  • I have had persisting pain for a while now and I want to understand what is happening and why


Or are you thinking more like this that your local super mega awesome Exercise Physiologist will be the go!

  • I have some ‘niggly’ issues and want to learn how I can move more and live the life I want to.
  • My GP/friend/family member told me I should really start taking steps towards improving my health and wellness
  • I’m training in the gym but worried I may do something that causes me pain or re-injury.
  • I want someone to train me who really understands me and my goals/purpose
  • I have been seeing a GREAT physio for a while now but think I need to progress further than what I am doing.

Andy and a few other Gold Coast Allied Health Professionals recently started a Podcast called ‘ALLIED’

Click the link below to hear us discuss such topics


Gold Coast Beach

At GCHP we have a strong and trusting referring relationship with Physiotherapists in our community.

A word from our Director Andy Moloney

No matter what Health Professional you see, what matters most is that you feel listened to, supported, educated and leave with a sense of empowerment. “

Why would you train with our team?

It really depends on why you are coming to see us in the first place. So let’s think about our ‘3 Pillars of Treatment’:

Health – We do see the majority of our clients have come with past injury, pain or chronic disease. However, more and more we are seeing clients who just was a trainer who will take further steps to developing a training and wellness program that is suited to their purpose and goals.

Mental Fitness – Andy is headed back to University (part-time) for his Masters in Mental Health. So our team will always have a strong focus on supporting you and your head space towards movement and health.

Basketball Performance – All our team either have, or are undergoing their ASCA level 1 Strength and Conditioning Certificates. Combining this with knowledge in injury prevention, biomechanics and advanced exercise prescription, we will cover all bases from youth development, performance and injury prevention. 

Click here to visit our NEW Basketball Instagram page

 So no matter what find a health professional who you can connect with and will listen to your goals. Then work hard towards them!

Andrew Moloney Exercise Physiologist Headshot




At Gold Coast Health and Performance we operate under trauma-informed care (TIC) principles. Trauma-informed care approaches patients’ healthcare needs in a manner that takes into account any trauma that they may have experienced. A key goal of trauma-informed care is to prevent any re-traumatisation that could prevent patients from continuing to seek care.

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