Posted on June 03, 2019 by Kate Gordon

Although it is common for many practitioners’ jobs to have some sort of crossover, they are all highly qualified in their area and this gives them knowledge that is transferable into other professions.

Who is a Physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. As well as helping to reduce your risk of injury or illness in the future.

Physiotherapy has a broad range of benefits and many specialise in certain areas of expertise such as: respiratory physiotherapy on hospital wards and intensive care units, neurological physiotherapy, musculoskeletal, orthopedics, pediatrics, sports physiotherapy and ergonomics.

Physiotherapists will consider your lifestyle, activities and general health before providing a suitable treatment plan for yourself. Dependent on your medical diagnosis, these are some of the common treatment plans used by physiotherapists:

  • Exercise programs to improve mobility and strengthen muscles
  • Joint manipulation and mobilisation to reduce pain and stiffness
  • Muscle re-education to improve control, airway clearance techniques and breathing exercises
  • Soft tissue mobilisation (massage)
  • Acupuncture and dry needling
  • Hydrotherapy and assistance with use of aids, splints, crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs to help you move around.

Chiropractor

A chiropractor is someone who commonly deals with musculoskeletal problems such as back, neck and shoulder pain.

Using a chiropractor is also considered to be a non-conventional form of treatment, and is rarely available on the NHS and many chiropractors are sought out privately.

The use of spinal manipulation is used to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become limited in their natural movement, often following a tissue injury and to correct the alignment of the body. These techniques in turn will help the body to heal itself without the need for medication or surgery.

Many office workers are looking to seek help from chiropractors as studies have shown that using a chiropractor for musculoskeletal back problems is much more effective than traditional medical treatment.

Osteopath

Osteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints. (NHS, 2019).

Not to be confused with a Chiropractor, although they can focus on similar areas and their treatment method also prevents the need for traditional medical treatment, an Osteopath is also concerned with the rest of the body. Their treatment process can also use manipulation similar to a chiropractor but the approach is slightly different in that an osteopath will look more at the muscles and how that affects joint mobility. Restoring muscle function will improve joint mobility and thereby improve flexibility and reducing pain. Among manipulation treatments used to a given injury include soft tissue stretching, massage, (also called muscle energy technique) – these will aim to reduce muscle spasms, and use methods such as joint and spinal manipulation to rebalance the body and promote healing.

Top Tips

Physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths provide what can be easily assumed as a similar service in their profession. It is advised that you seek to find out the following before investing and subjecting your body to treatment.

  • Ensure that your physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath has studied and completed a relevant 3 to 5 year full-time degree.
  • Ensure that they hold membership of their national association or governing body (e.g. British Chiropractic Association, British Osteopathic Association, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists).
  • Use a physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath who has been recommended by a friend or your doctor.
  • If you have any worries seek professional medical help by contacting your GP.