The difference between

Difference between Physiotherapy and Chiropractor

We’re here to help you decide if osteopathic therapy is the best fit for you and help you understand what the similarities and differences are between what we do and how you’d be treated if you see a chiropractor or a physiotherapist.

Let’s start with the similarities:

  1. Osteopathic therapy, Physiotherapy and Chiropractors understand that the release of tension in joints, muscles, tethered nerves and fascia allows healing to occur.
  2. All three professions exist to help you recover from pain and injury.
  3. Osteopathic therapists at Intrinsi and chiropractors have 4 years of training in their fields to become qualified (Physiotherapists have 2 years).
  4. We all do hands on work. We’ve all been trained to use our hands to diagnose and treat the restrictions that are preventing your body from healing.
  5. We all give you a treatment plan so you know what to expect going forward.

Now for the differences:

  1. Osteopathic therapists work not only with the spine and joints, but with tissues, scars, fascia and fluids as well. Physiotherapists and chiropractors tend to be more limited in their approach.
  2. With osteopathic therapy, there is no single protocol that is applied to all patients. Physiotherapy is often protocol driven which means that there is less individual focus on the unique underlying causes of your problem.
  3. With osteopathic therapy It doesn’t particularly matter what or where your problem is. It could be anything from a childhood injury to painful menstrual cramps or recurring headaches. What matters is the methodical way in which your osteopathic therapist addresses and removes the restrictions that are causing you a problem.
  4. Osteopathic therapists ONLY use their hands. Chiropractors and physiotherapists may use other tools like ultrasound or activators to help make adjustments. These can be useful but there is no tool that is as sensitive as human touch. We combine our intellectual knowledge of anatomy in motion with what we feel in our hands to understand the story being told by your tissues. We then use gentle manipulation to free restricted joints, tight muscles, tethered nerves and blockages around organs. The release of tension allows healing to occur.
  5. You may have noticed that chiropractors and physiotherapists treat more than one person within the time of your treatment. At our clinic, you get a focused, one-to-one experience. There is no multi-tasking at our clinic. Your time is your time.
  6. Osteopathic therapists consciously give a lot of time to each patient on each visit because we know it takes time to heal a person. We know that it takes more than five minutes to hear your whole story, assess you properly and begin to treat you in a way that makes a difference.

Let’s look at how the same problem might be treated by the different types of therapists.

You try physiotherapy . . .

  • Your treatment time will vary from 15 to 30 minutes.
  • The physiotherapist assesses your shoulder using standard orthopedic tests and reaches the conclusion that there is some impingement of one of the rotator cuff muscles, which is a very common shoulder injury.
  • The therapist might choose to use some ultrasound on your shoulder .
  • You will get some specific exercises to increase strength to any weakened muscles of your shoulder.
  • The treatment may or may not include hands-on work. If it does, it will probably just be focused on your shoulder or upper ribs.
  • You are asked to come back twice a week for eight treatments.
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