Difference between a Physio, Chiro and Osteo

Who is a Physiotherapist?
According to Robert Foyster, Physiotherapist at Team Elite Physio, Physiotherapy can divided into three areas.
  • Musculoskeletal Physio: This is the kind of Physio you’d see if you had sporting or back pain, and their practice is all about your muscle and bone.
  • Cardiorespiratory Physio: These guys help those with heart and/or lung conditions - for example, they assist people who’ve had a heart or lung transplant return to everyday life, or help people with cystic fibrosis clear their passageways.
  • Neurological Physio: This involves helping people who’ve had spinal cord damage due to conditions like multiple sclerosis, or stroke, or major injury like car crashes learn to control their bodies again.

What does a Chiropractor do? 

A chiropractor's main concern is seeing the vertebral column healthy.

Chiropractic practice is very holistic. It’s a vitalism profession, so it works on the basic premise that the body has an innate healing intelligence, and we help to tell the body what to heal.
“That philosophy is the fundamental difference between Chiropractic verses Osteopathy or Physiotherapy", says Dr. Suzi Hearn, who has worked as a Chiropractor for the past 29 years.
“Chiropractic adjustments are quick and they release a lot of pressure from the joints in the body. After a session, most people will experience an increase in mobility and some pain relief. The other professions involve manipulations or mobilisations, whereas Chiropractic is about making the bones pop and releasing tension.
“These adjustments aren’t painful, but the clicking noise of the joints releasing – particularly in the neck – some people find disconcerting.”
What is Osteopathy? 
"Chiropractors main theory is that manipulation of the spine can affect the rest of the body, physiotherapists will generally always include some rehabilitation exercise into treatment plans, and osteopaths use a variety of techniques that are either direct (manipulation, soft tissue) or indirect (functional)" to assist in recovery, according to Jordan Moncrieff, 5th Year Osteopathy student and Personal Trainer. 
Jordan says osteopath appointments can take anywhere between 20 - 60 minutes, with the practitioner taking into account "the whole person rather than just the symptom, considering vascular health, nerve heath, musculoskeletal health and mental health in order to assist with a complaint."
"There's a lot of overlap between professions, for example, physios are going to take the whole body into consideration and not just address the symptomatic area (like osteos will), and good osteos will prescribe exercises for their patient if necessary (like physios will)."
Who comes to see an Osteopath, and why?
"Generally, people will opt to see a physio or chiro before they see an osteopath, and if they don't get any pain relief via those approaches will try osteopathy." says Jordan. People of all ages can benefit from Osteopathy too, with clients ranging "from babies to the elderly".
"Similiar to physio and chiro, osteopaths treat both acute injuries and patients with chronic pain. Neck and back pain (including headaches), arthritis, sciatica, vertigo, sports injuries, pregnancy-related discomfort and overuse injuries" are just some of the ailments an Osteo can help treat.
- Courtsey Pedestrian

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