Osteopathy and Physiotherapy – What is the Difference?

Osteopathy and Physiotherapy

A lot of times patients have to deal with a not so easy decision making dilemma – whether they should go to a physiotherapist or an osteopath. Ordinary people do not know the basic difference between the two. Hence they find it difficult to decide. Furthermore, when the pain gets unbearable people don’t actually weigh the pros and cons before choosing a treatment. They just go to whatever is available for quick relief. In this post, we will talk about the basic difference between physiotherapy and osteopathy.

Both physiotherapy and osteopathy and have the same objective – to heal or cure the health problems and foster well-being, however, the approach is different.

Understanding the approach:

In osteopathy body is considered as whole when trying to find the origin of pathology. It focuses on well-being by creating a healthy balance of several systems such as visceral, musculoskeletal and so on. These systems influence and interact with each other. On the first consultation, the osteopath tries to find out whether or not the patient can be cured with this method.

Physiotherapy is an alternative treatment method that helps patients restore function and movement when they are affected by illness or injury. The physiotherapists are experts in handling specific health problems.

An osteopath will focus on the manipulation of joints and spine, along with the cranial and visceral methods. The physiotherapist will emphasize on the rehabilitation exercise programs that aid in strengthening the muscles; improving endurance capacity and so on. He may use an electrical nerve stimulator, cryotherapy or ultrasounds to cure a health problem.

Qualification of practitioners:

Osteopaths go to college 4-5 years full-time to earn their degree. They may also choose to further specialize in their subject with MScs or PhDs in areas such as osteopathic. physiotherapists study for 3-4 years to get their degree and their profession is statutorily regulated in several countries.

Treatment and techniques used:

Osteopaths use manual techniques in order to improve patient’s mobility and movement, stretching to help to relax the stiff muscles. Besides their four years of a degree program, these professionals also undertake 2,000 hours of touch therapy in order to become an expert in manipulation and palpation. Some of the problems that can be treated with osteopathy are an arthritic pain, repetitive strain injuries, back pain, sports injuries, and migraines.

Physiotherapy can treat joint pain, muscle stiffness, mobility issues and it helps patients recovering from an accident or surgery. It uses a broad range of treatments such as hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercise, electrotherapy, and manipulation of joints.

Whether you choose physiotherapy or osteopathy to win over the pain, the practitioner will adapt his or her treatment as per your specific requirement.