Osteopath, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor - What's the Difference?

Dr Amanda Pike
This is one of the most common questions we get from patients. Here is why we think Osteo is best

This is one of the most common questions we get from patients. Different practitioners will have different answers but here is our best stab at it.

All three disciplines treat people with a focus on strengthening and mobilising the neuro-musculo-skeletal systems to smooth out asymmetry, return from injury or just keep things working as they should. Each has a different approach to assessing and treating the body and even within each profession there will be major differences in how a given practitioner will go about their craft.

An Osteopath

Looks at the body as a whole, their aim is to recognise the link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. What this means is that even if you come in with knee pain they will examine and treat the ankles, hip and maybe even the lower back. Their treatment will incorporate massage, stretching, mobilisation and rehabilitation.

A Physiotherapist

Will use a variety of techniques to encourage the body to move to its full potential. Working in both private practice and in hospitals they work with injuries through their entirety with the use of manual therapy, movement, exercise and education.

A Chiropractor

Can treat all areas of the body but they are generally known for spinal treatment and manipulation. Their diagnosis is based on misalignments of the joints in the body and it is believed that these misalignments cause dysfunction and disorder through other parts of the body.

No matter what type of clinician you see, their role is to facilitate great functional movement, whatever that means to you. A great allied health professional has the ultimate counterintuitive goal of seeing you less. In the long run, the better they are at their job, and the more diligent you are with your homework, the less often you should have to book in.All three are great forms of therapy and are ultimately chasing the same goal; helping you feel awesome. A lot of people have ‘their guy’ they go to, but if you haven’t found yours (or even if you have) you should give osteopathy a try!We might be a little biased but we think an osteopaths whole body manual therapy and movement based approach to treatment is pretty great.

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