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Which one shall I choose? Physiotherapist, Osteopath or chiropractor?

Updated: May 5, 2020

Let's answer it in steps

1) Seeing someone who's registered and professionally regulated verses unregistered

2) What are the differences and similarities between the registered professions

3) Which one shall I choose, what to look for?!

1) Seeing someone who's registered and professionally regulated verses unregistered

Currently there are only 3 registered professional titles that have protection under law. That is to say - they are recognised to be of a very high standard of training and regulation. That means better protection for the public, and reassurance that the clinician meets a base standard. They are: #Osteopaths, #Physiotherapists and #Chiropractors.

Any #osteopath, #physiotherapist or #chiropractor set up in #Leicester will be regulated and registered. You can check their registration details by going onto their regulatory bodies websites:

The above 3 professions have statutory regulation. I would say this is really important for knowing that your therapist should meet a few key criteria

1) They are bound by specific law to be honest, caring and professional

2) They have to meet standards of education and clinical competence

3) They have to be able to diagnose you and refer onwards if it's something outside of

their ability

Obviously this level of training and regulation takes years and lots of money to achieve and maintain- so that's why they generally charge a higher price. At the end of the day - I believe you get what you pay for.

#Sports therapists, #massage #therapists and #acupuncturists are among the list of practitioners that do not have statutory regulation. The professions have generally either not met standards of training and regulation or there is deemed insufficient risk to the public to warrant regulation under law. We can go into a lot more detail - but by reading their documents if becomes clear as to why this is the case. For example: #Osteopaths and #Chiropractors have significantly a lot more hours in clinic for #musculoskeletal #medicine.

And well - as any #medical program will tell you - hours matter! Some other courses only require a few case studies to be submitted. How can one be trained to identify serious pathologies and know how to manage them when they might never have been #covered in the students education, or the students might not have seen such patients in #clinics?

2) What are the differences and similarities between the registered professions

I get this question all the time. Having been a student, #clinician, #MSK #consultant in the NHS, lecturer and clinical trainer - I have still not been able to answer the question properly! This is why:

Taking this directly from the chiropractic website:

"#Chiropractic is a #health #profession concerned with the #diagnosis, #treatment and #prevention of mechanical #disorders of the #musculoskeletal system (#bones, #joints and #muscles), and the effects of these disorders on the function of the #nervous #system and #general #health.  There is an emphasis on manual treatments including #spinal #adjustment and other #joint and #soft-tissue #manipulation...#Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce #pain, improve function and increase mobility, with an emphasis on hands-on manipulation of the spine..."


"Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual #therapy, education and advice."

Taken from

"#Osteopathy is a system of #diagnosis and #treatment for a wide range of #medical #conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.

To an #osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So #osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. #Osteopaths use touch, physical #manipulation, #stretching and #massage to increase the mobility of #joints, to relieve #muscle #tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on #posture and #exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring."

Honestly - do you see a difference?! Differences in wording, but think of it this way:

There is only 1 human body. And there are only so many ways you can #manipulate #joints, stretch and massage tissue. There is no 'secret' needle or joint adjustment technique that only belongs to a profession! That sort of 18th Century thinking is no longer the case!

Diagnostics is generally the same. We all read the same books! Anatomy and physiology is the same! There is a difference depending on how much a clinician knows and their experiences, sometimes there is more than 1 way of labelling something and conditions change in time!

I was training in hospital #musculoskeletal outpatients under some amazing #physiotherapists, as well as some brilliant #osteopaths in university clinics. I think it's silly in the 21st century that we have these titles. They confuse patients and practitioners!

We should have regulation, and high standards - that's never a question in my mind. But #Osteopaths, #Chiropractors and #Physiotherapists should combine to become 'manual therapists' or even just choose one of the above titles and have issued certificates of competence in a range of tools like '#massage', '#acupuncture', '#electrotherapy', '#joint #adjustments' etc. One register where patients can check what competences a person has. Their CV will tell you the rest - years of practice, further training, special interests etc.

3) Which one shall I choose, what to look for?

In my opinion; if you have a bad #back, #sciatica, #pain down the #leg, #disc #injury, even a #headache or #shoulder, #knee or #ankle #problem then:

a) seek a #clinic with a registered and regulated #practitioner

b) check their #reviews and ask around for recommendations

c) read their websites - Their education, current interests, video testimonials

d) what equipment do they have access to? Can they use #acupuncture / #needles. Do

they have #electro-#acupuncture, #ultrasound, #spinal #traction couches. Are they familiar

with the different #electrotherapies like neuromuscular stimulation etc.

e) What range of hands-on-techniques do they do: ideally someone who can do a


Yasin at is only a phone call away to offer any help 0116 212 65 95.

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