Professional Care Options

We are often asked what the difference is between
Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy.

In many ways there are similarities in what we are trying to achieve, namely a better quality of life for each patient. Some through simply the reduction of pain, as in the physiotherapy treatment for sports injury. Chiropractic and Osteopathy tend to take a more holistic approach to better health and wellbeing as well as the recovery from acute or chronic injury or illness.

We would advise when choosing a Chiropractor, Osteopath or Physiotherapist to take care and follow these simple tips:

  • Make sure they are suitably trained, Chiropractors for example must undertake a 5 year full time degree course and be registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC).

  • Enquire whether they are members of an association.

  • It is advised to seek a referral, if possible, from a family member, friend or colleague. Most of our patient’s come by ‘word of mouth’ referral from satisfied patients.

  • If upon choosing a clinic, you are not sure if the therapy is working, then speak to the person looking after you. A good Chiropractor, Osteopath or Physiotherapist will always listen to your concerns and try to resolve them or seek to refer you to someone more appropriate for care. If we don’t feel a person is a suitable candidate for chiropractic we will refer them to the best place or person for them to see.

There are differences and similarities among all three forms or care.


Osteopaths work with the body to try and improve circulation through the manipulation of joints and soft tissues. Such as muscles and fascia. It is a system of diagnosis for a wide range of medical conditions, working with the structure and function of the body. An Osteopath will use touch, manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, relieve tension and to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues.


Physiotherapy works mainly with the soft tissues of the body to restore movement and function, particularly after injury. Illness or disability. A Physiotherapist will assess the patient and give advice based around manual therapy, exercises, massage and the application of electrophysical modalities such as ultrasound.

Physiotherapy can cover a wide range of problems ranging from breathing issue to post-operative rehab. They are able to work in a wide variety of settings such as hospital or private clinics and use their knowledge of the body to try and improve people’s movement and manage pain. So it is always best to check that your physio has experience in the condition you are seeking help for.

Historically Osteopathy and Chiropractic came from a similar background with the two founders living very close to each other in the United States. Mr Still founded Osteopathy on the belief that by releasing tension in the body and allowing better circulation. The body would have a better chance of getting better and being healthy. Mr Palmer founded Chiropractic in 1895, taken from the words ‘Cheir (hand) and ‘Praxis’ (action), meaning done by hand. His principle was based on the releasing of pressure on the spinal nerves by moving the spinal vertebrae correctly. An idea that has now been firmly backed by knowledge of anatomy and physiology and science. All well as over 120 years of success stories of cases from the simple back pain to complex long standing cases of pain or illness.

There are similarities in the practice of the two, both will usually take a history and examine the patient to find out if they could be helped. And then a course of treatment is most likely offered.


Chiropractors are the only one of the three who are trained to take and read x-rays. This ability to see ‘under the bonnet’ as it were, provides valuable information to enable a specific adjustment to be made with confidence to really help the patient. On rare occasions a chiropractic x-ray will show reasons why someone should not be adjusted or even be sent promptly to hospital. Often underlying problems, damage and even previous fractures are seen that the person was unaware of.

Chiropractic is a healing art based on the body's own innate ability to self-regulate and heal.

If you cut yourself, what happens? Your body heals you, but only if the nerves are free to work with no interference. A Chiropractic adjustment is given to gently restore proper motion and alignment to spinal joints that are stuck and thus relieve inflammation and pressure on the nerves. Freeing them of the interference or pinching, that is the root cause of many common conditions.


Want to know more about how
Chiropractic can help you?