What's The Difference Between a Physiotherapist, Osteopath & Chiropractor? Part 1

A question we hear get asked regularly and which I'm sure has crossed your mind at one time or another, is the "difference" between a physiotherapist, an osteopath, and a chiropractor. 

I know I might ruffle a few feathers here, but I believe there should not be any "difference" at all.

Let me explain. I do not mean any disrespect to any of the professions but too many times we get caught up in the "my profession is better than yours" thinking and that does not help anyone. I do believe every profession has its own unique differences and they bring different things to the table.

The patient is at the centre of it all!

The patient is at the centre of it all!

When I first graduated from physio school, hand on heart, I used to rubbish what chiropractors did. I (wrongly) thought all they did was to manipulate spines. However, I have been fortunate enough to have worked in a physiotherapy clinic, an osteopathic clinic, and also a chiropractic clinic, and I have experienced and observed how the different professions work. I now appreciate how there are different schools of training and thought. Having worked in with my various colleagues, we had regular sessions where we would come together and exchange different techniques and treatment options, thus with all the different courses available out there, there is almost a blend of treatment options that any clinician can pick from.

I believe every profession has its own unique differences, however, the patient is at the centre of it all. I know of colleagues who have travelled on medical mission trips to less developed countries, and the last thing that patients worry about is the profession of the clinician who is treating them. Who cares?? All they want is to get better!

Over the years, I have had the privilege of meeting colleagues of different professions through courses and have enjoyed meeting clinicians who share the same views as I do. In the next few posts, I will have guest writers representing each profession (osteopathy, chiropractic and physiotherapy) to share about what they do and their views on the different professions.

So, when asked what the difference between a physiotherapist, a chiropractor and an osteopath is, my answer is "A good one!"

Thanks for reading!