What Is The Difference Between A Physiotherapist And Osteopath

Most patients often get confused on who to meet whenever they see both osteopathy and physiotherapy professionals within a single practice. Obviously, it’s because they do not know the difference between both primary healthcare professionals. While it’s easy to find both professionals treating almost the same problems in most private practices, you may also observe that they tend to apply a slightly different method of treatment.

Basically, the greatest difference between a physiotherapist and an osteopath is found in the ideology and training. While there are common similarities between physiotherapy and osteopathy, it is quite important to understand that both professions are derived from different roots. In a bid to help you understand the difference between the two health professionals, here is a structured outline to guide you.

Who is a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists are primary healthcare professionals who are trained to help patients manage pain and prevent disease. These health professionals are known to receive broad-based training in physiotherapy. While belonging to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, all physiotherapists are required to be registered by the Health Professions Council. In the UK, Physiotherapists are required to study for a period of about 3-4 years before they can be awarded a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy (BSc Physiotherapy).

What does a physiotherapist do?

When a person is affected by a disability, illness or injury, the office of the physiotherapist is usually the first point of call. This is because they are medically trained to help restore movement and function to the fullest potential as part of efforts to maintain health for people of all ages. Ranging from breathing problems to post-operative rehabilitation, these health specialists are trained to work with a diverse spectrum of conditions.

Generally, physios are trained to evaluate specific problems of inactivity in an individual’s health life. They use a range of treatment methods such as hydrotherapy, ultrasound, electrotherapy, therapeutic exercise, and manipulation of joints to treat certain health problems and a variety of injuries. Some of the problems they treat involve muscles, spine, ligaments, and joints.

Physios are also very helpful in rehabilitating patients from accidents and surgery by developing effective exercise programs. As part of an effective rehabilitation program, these physicians often offer facilities for supervised exercise. Basically, they are particularly focused on remedial exercises. Rather than work in private practices, most physiotherapists prefer to operate within the NHS.

Who is an osteopath?

Osteopaths are health professionals who spend about 4-5 years studying osteopathy at the university. Upon completion, they are awarded a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy (BOstMed, BOst or BSc Hons.). It is important to note that these physicians are not trained in radiology or radiography. Before an Osteopath can practice in the UK, he or she must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).

What does an osteopath do?

When it comes to treating joint and muscle disorders, the office of the osteopath is the right place to go. An osteopath is specially trained to treat skeletal problems. Such a physician should be able to correct problems caused by incorrect alignments of muscles, ligaments, and bones with just the hands.

Basically, osteopaths help in diagnosing, treating, preventing, and rehabilitating musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders. As primary health care professionals, they also focus on strengthening the MSK system and their effects on the general health of patients. They offer a range of techniques such as acupuncture, soft tissue stretch, soft or deep tissue massage, articulation, and joint manipulation to treat existing conditions and prevent illnesses.

These treatments help to boost the body’s own healing mechanism, enhance nerve supply to tissues, promote blood circulation, relieve muscle tension, and boost joint mobility.

To learn more about physiotherapists and osteopaths, please contact KUER Physio Harley Street.

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