Many people don’t know the difference between osteopathy vs. physiotherapy. There are quite a few key differences and subtle details that you need to understand to differentiate between the two.
Both fields have their own sets of benefits, but this article will go over the things that set the two apart and help you decide which one is the right choice for your needs. You might even be one of the many patients who end up going for both treatment options.
Area of focus
One aspect where physiotherapists and osteopaths differ is in their area of focus. Even if you go to both specialists with a knee injury, each of them is going to handle the situation differently. This is because physiotherapists usually have a more narrow approach. They’ll likely only focus on the knee itself to try and address the issue. In contrast, osteopaths take a more holistic approach. You’ll notice that an osteopath will also examine your ankle, pelvis, back, and other areas to try and find the root cause. This broader approach in diagnosing and treating patients is often more effective since there’s a higher chance of finding the underlying issue from the start rather than focusing only on the epicentre of the problem.
Generally speaking, osteopaths are more hands-on in the treatment of their patients. They’ll seek to manually correct the imbalance in your musculoskeletal system themselves. Conversely, physiotherapists tend to do the opposite. Rather than correcting the issue themselves through manual medicines, it’s more common for them to prescribe an exercise regimen that the patient can use to alleviate the problems by their own efforts. This doesn’t make physiotherapy inherently worse, but it’s important to know what you’re getting for your money. One last thing to note is the fact that the hands-on approach that osteopaths take often yields faster results than the regimens prescribed by physiotherapists.
Finally, the training time of osteopaths is longer and more focused than that of physiotherapists. In addition to being four years instead of three, osteopathy training focuses on the musculoskeletal system. On the other hand, while physiotherapists also learn about the respiratory, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular systems. This broader curriculum, coupled with the shorter training time, can make certain physiotherapists less knowledgeable than osteopaths on musculoskeletal topics.
Choosing between osteopathy vs physiotherapy
If you prefer a whole-body approach to manual medicine, then you can give us a call at 1800 067 836 to schedule an appointment with our experienced specialists. You can even book online via our website or use the contact form.
Those who prefer to make an appointment in person can go to our clinic at Level 1, 31 Craigieburn Road. We take patients from 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM on weekdays, but bear in mind that we leave early on weekends!
We’re all eager to treat you and help you get back to 100%!