Basically, there is a lot of overlap between all three professions and it is easier to compare the similarities rather than the differences. Each profession has a slightly different approach to treating the same type of conditions. All three professions are statutorily regulated by their respective governing bodies and are highly trained. All three follow recognised University degree programmes.
Chiropractors and Osteopaths are mainly in private practice although some, depending on which part of the country they are in, do have contracts with local commissioning groups. Physiotherapists are found mostly within the NHS but there are a number also in private practice.
Training of each profession is slightly different but increasingly there appears to be more crossover. All three treat musculoskeletal problems to increase movement, strengthen the body and decrease pain. Chiropractors and Osteopaths traditionally employ manipulation where Physiotherapists employ mobilisation. However our Chiropractors are trained in both of these techniques as well as many more including medical acupuncture.
The range of conditions that the professions treat are similar and include low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches, extremity joint problems and ligament and tendon problems.
Our strongest recommendation to patients who are unsure of which profession to choose is to do your research and ensure you receive treatment from a practitioner you are comfortable with. Ensure you use a registered practitioner which you can easily check by typing their name in on their professional bodies website. For Chiropractors this site is www.gcc-uk.org.