Updated: Mar 4
‘Who should I see for my pain?’
– Most people in pain.
A lot of friends ask me this question when I talk about what I do as an Osteopath. Only the other day a close friend couldn’t quite differentiate what I do from a Physiotherapist. It can be a little frustrating that they don’t know what I do, as close friends, but should this even matter...?
Who am I?
My name is Nathan and I am an Osteopath.
Put plainly, I help people of all ages and backgrounds to recover from their aches and pains. I work on the body using manual therapy, exercise prescription and lifestyle advice. I treat bodies, but I work with people
Who should I see?
Many qualified health professionals train to treat musculoskeletal problems.
This includes anything related to what helps you move: bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, brain etc. They are regulated by a governing body which is the boring but important part for you to know. It means that people who are not qualified cannot practice. It is to protect you! You can only call yourself an Osteopath, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist if you are qualified and registered.
General Chiropractic Council (GCC) - https://www.gcc-uk.org/
General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) - https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/home/
Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) - http://www.hcpc-uk.co.uk/
Some Physios, Chiros and Osteopaths may have a particular area of interest or specialism. You may wish to seek them out, but all will have training about all the areas of the body and the most common presentations.
So I can see any of these professionals, but what’s the difference and who is better?
Now that you know you can see a Physiotherapist, a Chiropractor or an Osteopath for the same problem, which one is better and what’s the difference?
This question I used to think was quite difficult to explain and has changed and developed the more I tell it. You should note that being an Osteopath, I cannot help any unconscious bias to my answer! But over the years of thinking about it and meeting many other health professionals I have come to this realisation:
The differences don’t matter. There are more similarities than differences.
The question you should ask yourself as a patient is this:
‘Do I feel that this person is going to do right by me?’