WHAT IS AN ACCREDITED EXERCISE
PHYSIOLOGIST (AEP)?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP’s) specialise in clinical exercise interventions for persons at high risk from developing, or with existing chronic and complex medical conditions and injuries.

Pathology domains covered by the services of AEPs include cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, musculoskeletal, cancers, kidney, respiratory / pulmonary and mental health, and any other conditions for which there is evidence that exercise can improve the client’s clinical status.

Services delivered by an AEP are also claimable under compensable schemes (such as Medicare, TAC, Workcover, NDIS, & DVA) and covered by most private health insurers. When it comes to the prescription of exercise, AEP’s are the most qualified professionals in Australia.

Physiotherapists often work more in the acute phase of rehab. I.e. Imagine you have just torn your ACL and require treatment 1 day post surgery. This is where a physio excels. Once the person moves from the acute phase (Day 1- Day 90) into the longer term phase, that is where an Exercise Physiologist is in their genius mode!

Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists also love collaborating together with clients. Often a Physio will get the client started or assist with some pain management techniques and will soon refer to an exercise physiologist for that longer term care and prevention.

 

How are AEP’s different from physiotherapists?

Distinguishing between a physiotherapist and an exercise physiologist can be quite difficult, as the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Both can work within a broad scope of practice so it’s only natural that confusion exists. Although there are similarities, they aren’t the same thing.

Both are allied health professionals who have done a minimum of 4 years’ study at university, however there are differences in their areas of expertise. Exercise physiologists use evidence-based movement and exercise intervention for chronic disease prevention and management, musculoskeletal injuries and weight management.

Exercise physiologists often work as part of a team of doctors, physiotherapists and other allied health professionals to ensure the best results for their clients.

Physiotherapists can diagnose a range of conditions and use various methods, including hands on treatment, to treat musculoskeletal problems, alleviate pain, restore function and manage chronic conditions.