One of the questions I get asked most by patients is “what’s the difference between a physiotherapist and an osteopath?”. Unfortunately this isn’t always an easy question to answer!
Both osteopaths and physiotherapists predominantly help people with injuries of the neuromusculoskeletal system (anything related to muscles, joints and nerves), such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, sports injuries, headaches arising from the neck and many others… and there are lots of similarities between them. Both are regulated professions, spend at least 3-4 years training at undergraduate level, are experienced in taking detailed medical histories, making a diagnosis of your complaint and use a combination of hands on treatment, exercises and advice in order to get you on the road to recovery! These similarities can often make it hard to distinguish the difference between the two professions and ultimately finding a practitioner who understands your problem and who’s approach suits you is what is most important.
As an Osteopath, I ask patients lots of questions in order to build a picture of how their symptoms have come about and the effect they are having on their life; we are trained to have a holistic view of patients, meaning we consider how your movement, occupation, hobbies, lifestyle, levels of stress and thoughts and worries surrounding your symptoms might all effect your pain. During treatment I use a combination of hands-on techniques such as manipulation (where you might hear a small ‘pop’), massage and stretching in order to help improve your movement and comfort. This might be followed up with some exercises, advice or short-term goals to think about at home. Education also forms an important part of our consultations; if you have a better understanding of what is going on and are able to discuss your concerns and worries with us, you will be able to better manage your complaint outside of the consultation room and take steps towards a more positive, enjoyable and pain-free life!
Want More info on Osteopathy?
For more information on osteopathy or to ask any questions please feel free to contact our osteopath Toby or visit the General Osteopathic Council https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/ or Institute of Osteopathy https://www.iosteopathy.org/osteopathy/about-osteopathy/ websites.
For more info on back pain or other injuries Osteopathy can help with check out our BLOG
We are based just outside Saffron Walden. To find us check out our location on google maps 😊