What are the differences between osteopathy, chiropractic and physiotherapy?
Osteopathy is a caring, thoughtful, hands on approach to treating mechanical problems manifesting in the body. Our aim is to understand the cause of the symptoms by assessing the whole person, taking into account physiological and emotional factors that might have produced those symptoms at that time. Osteopathic treatment aims to improve the function of the whole body and improve health by treating the body structure.
In particular, we believe that it is important to support the repair of damaged tissues by improving their blood circulation and nerve supply. In addition to short-term relief of symptoms, we aim to improve wellbeing and promote long-term good health. Osteopaths are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council and the title “Osteopath” is protected in law.
Chiropractic addresses similar problems, and comes from a similar root. However, consultations tend to be shorter – typically 10-15 minutes, whereas osteopathy sessions are 20-30 minutes. The cost per session is much the same. There is an emphasis on manual treatment including spinal manipulation or adjustment. Chiropractors are regulated by the General Chiropractic Council.
Physiotherapy is generally offered within the NHS by referral from your GP, or via your private hospital consultant. It focuses on specific injuries and post-operative rehabilitation. Physiotherapists often use equipment to treat, rather than their hands, and usually prescribe exercises.