Physiotherapy vs Osteopathy

People are often unsure about the difference between osteopathy and physiotherapy. In the recent years, it has become more common for physicians to refer patients to physiotherapists due to their affiliation with the NHS. Physiotherapy does not work for everyone and that’s where the benefits of Osteopathy could be suitable instead. Many patients have come to Denise Callaghan as an alternative to Physiotherapy.

A few major differences:
As apposed to the 3 years training commonly undertaken by Physiotherapists, Osteopaths undergo 4 years of full time or 5 years part-time training in the UK. Osteopaths are trained to recognize and diagnose conditions as well as understanding the pathology. This is because Osteopaths have to gain an in depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology in order to be able to diagnose musculoskeletal dysfunction and be aware of pathological conditions that may be present in the musculoskeletal system. Osteopaths also study pharmacology, nutrition and exercise mechanics in order to achieve a sound knowledge of how the body works in health and disease. Physiotherapists commonly have an overall training in a vast number of areas necessarily specializing in any, and with little hands on therapy. Osteopaths on the other hand undertake extensive training in hands on therapy, becoming experts palpitation and manipulation. Physiotherapy focuses on rehabilitation which involves the patient to do more of the work themselves. Osteopathy by contrast is a lot more “hands on” by the practitioner.

Chiropractors vs Osteopathy

Due to their similarity in practice, understandably people often get confused about the differences between the work of the Osteopath as apposed to the Chiropractic. However there are a few fundamental differences and again, reasons why people have found Osteopathy more effective for them.

A few major differences:
Chiropractors view the working of the body through the spinal and muscular systems, focusing on pain relief and injury recovery. Osteopaths on the other hand work with the entire structure and function of the body, conducting a examination of the whole body before making a diagnosis. Both Osteopathy and Chiropractic therapy use hands on physical practice, however the techniques used by Chiropractors are often a lot more robust than those applied by Osteopathy, which patients have claimed to more gentle in comparison. For example Chiropractors use swift motion techniques to move joints back into place, whereas Osteopaths would undertake a variety of stretch and thrust techniques, improving the mobility of the joint by stretching it in ways in which it has not been stretched before.

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“I have been consulting Denise for many years. She knows how active I am and has kept me mobile, in spite of various knee and back problems, because of her wonderful needles. I have also recommended her to various other people who have also been delighted. I don?t know what I would do without her. Thank you for everything Denise.”

Madeleine Swift

Madeleine Swift

“Thanks Denise- My knees are finally back to normal and I can return to playing football. I highly recommend Osteopathy if you are suffering from any sports injuries-both the Osteopathy and Acupuncture has really helped me out!”

Mark Bates

“I was always caught between Osteopathy and Physiotherapy as I didn?t know which was better- after receiving both, I have to say that it was the Osteopathy that got me back on track when I got whiplash after the car accident. Denise and her staff were so supportive and friendly I would definitely come back and send others here.”

Neil Marks


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