Here at Deansgate Osteopathic Clinic having several practitioners including osteopaths and physiotherapists we often get asked whats the difference and who should I see..
Our first response is Francis Connor as he is a Chartered and HPC Registered Physiotherapist and a GosC registered Osteopath.
However outside of this “what is the difference between Osteopathy and Physiotherapy? And which one should I see?
Both therapists are effective and often treat similar issues, but thats where it generally stops in similarity. Please note NHS and private practise can differ considerably.
If you compare NHS physiotherapists as most of us have seen one you will note that there is little hands on, if any. The emphasis is on movement and function with a view to balance and strengthen muscles and improve joint function. They follow a protocol for a treatment plan and treat accordingly, in private practise its often very different as there is a generally a more hands on approach and also the inclusion of electrotherapy such as Ultrasound and interferential.
Osteopaths are very much a hands on approach, osteopathy looks to increase joint function and movement by encouraging overall function utilising different techniques such as massage, soft-tissue mobilisation, joint manipulation with some exercise's to help rehabilitation, though again generally not as much exercise rehabilitation as a physiotherapist would go through. The assessment of an osteopath will tend to be the whole body, so if you attend the clinic with a knee injury the rest of the body will be considered such as the hips, spine and even how the shoulder function in relation to your movement and posture.
Both Physiotherapists and Osteopaths look at maintaining factors such as home, work and activity undertaken with particular interest in postural influences.
So who should I see?
Its really down to your preference, alternatively you could see an osteopath to help get things moving then working closely with a physiotherapist to develop a rehabilitation plan?
They do work very differently and both are established because they work. Treatment can vary from profession to profession and also practitioner to practitioner, the important point to note is this! If you are injured do something about it, don't let niggles, backpain and strains stop you doing the things you do, keeping active is part of being healthy and able..