What is the difference between Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physio’s?

All three types of practitioner treat similar conditions and in many ways, the techniques they use can resemble each other. In deed there may be a lot of “crossover” in a lot of cases but that all depends on the type of practitioner you see and on what additional training they have under gone, what techniques the individual has found to be more useful and compliment their own style of treatment. In that way Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physio’s can be very similar or they can be very different from one and other.

Chiropractors are primary healthcare practitioners who have a holistic approach, focusing their treatment on improving motion and restoring balance to the body, nerves, joints and muscles using a wide range of quick and very effective techniques and adjustments. Through rehabilitation and specialist advice, Chiropractors also put an emphasis on well-being and reducing the likelihood of similar problems occurring in the future. In many cases, but not all, treatment may be centered around the spine and pelvis as these are where a large amount of the nervous system (the part of the body that controls everything) is located and where the most common site of irritation may occur. Chiropractors are also highly trained diagnosticians, utilising neurological, orthopedic and postural tests in formulating a diagnosis. To aid in this process, a Chiropractor is also trained to both take and read X-rays.

Osteopaths are also primary healthcare practitioners who are holistic in their approach. Their focus tends to be the vascular system (rather than the neurological system), muscles and joints. They tend to go through similar training to that of a Chiropractor but without the training in the use of X-Ray imaging.

Physiotherapists may or may not be primary healthcare practitioners (depending on whether you see one through the NHS or privately). They use both hands on and rehabilitation techniques. In the NHS, physiotherapists treat musculoskeletal problems that may be connected to problems with the cardiovascular or respiratory systems or the musculoskeletal system if the problem is biomechanical in nature.

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