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  • Writer's pictureAdam Whatley

What is the difference between a physiotherapist and an osteopath?

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

What is the difference between a physiotherapist and an osteopath?

Osteopaths and physiotherapists are both healthcare professionals, but they have slightly different approaches to treating patients. Osteopaths work in assessment and diagnosis with a particular focus on a hands on approach with manipulation the musculoskeletal system to promote stimulate healing, recovery and overall health, while physiotherapists use various physical therapy and rehabilitation to injuries. Osteopathy often involves a holistic perspective, considering the body as a whole, while physiotherapy typically emphasises targeted exercises and therapies.


It is a 3 year degree to become a registered physiotherapist, with an emphasis on rounded NHS practice. It is a 4 year degree to become a registered osteopath, with a particular focus on private musculoskeletal practice.


This being said, pain and injury often requires both modalities to effectively treat painful musculoskeletal conditions and prevent injury reoccurrence. Most experienced clinicians, from either profession will enhance post graduate skills to perform hands on manual therapy along side corrective injury rehabilitation.


Osteopaths often treat back pain through manual techniques that aim to improve spinal and musculoskeletal function. They may use manipulation and mobilisation alleviate pain and to stimulate tissue healing and repair. Osteopaths typically consider the whole body, seeking to address the root cause of back pain rather than just treating symptoms.


Physiotherapists help manage pain and injuries through a variety of techniques, including targeted exercises and education. They design personalised treatment plans to improve mobility, strengthen muscles, and promote overall recovery. Physiotherapy aims to address the underlying causes of pain also and enhance the body's natural healing processes.


Here at Dynamic Osteopaths, we focus on both hands on osteopathy and physiotherapy to assist with pain and injury. We have musculoskeletal pain and injury clinics in Birmingham and Warwickshire.



Dynamic Osteopaths

01564 330773





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