Manual therapy professionals are all qualified to help you with aches and pains. Qualifications may vary in length, for example, the initial training to become a physiotherapist tends to be 3 years, whilst more and more osteopaths qualify with a Master’s Degree in 4 years. As an Osteopath with a Master’s degree, I can only talk about my profession. The first Chiropractor was a student of the first Osteopath. He opened his own school and branched out somewhat, resulting in some diverging philosophical paths but these academic debates mean little to patients in pain.
Chiropractors tend to focus on joint “alignment” with a predilection for the spine.
Osteopaths tend to treat all joints in the body, including the spine, knees, etc, and hold a holistic view of health in terms of hands-on treatment as well as prescribing lifestyle changes such as exercise and nutritional support.
Nowadays physiotherapists are widely practising in the community and may be hospital-based, so more NHS patients are familiar with what they do, such as rehabilitation and exercise prescribing.
These values are shared with osteopaths, who may be more hands-on. Osteopaths and physiotherapists fall under the umbrella of Allied Health professionals, defined by the NHS as treating, rehabilitating and improving the lives of patients. Ultimately, it is about finding the practitioner who is a right match for you. Some patients relish in “bone cracking” (as do some practitioners) even if it is not needed. Some patients fear the cracks and are more comfortable with deep tissue and joint mobilisation techniques, or anything else that could help them heal faster with as little discomfort as possible.
Does the practitioner have the professional interests and specialism that you need ?
Can they relate to your life experience or pain ?
You can generally gather from your first consultation whether you are going to be able to build a therapeutic partnership with your practitioner, based on trust and understanding, as much as the effectiveness of the techniques and equipment that they use.
I strive to address any burning quick queries prior to the consultation, however, our consultation appointment is the best time to explore how I can help.
Book an appointment now to discuss your concerns.