I mentioned in my last blog, I would give my experience of each profession in this post so here goes. I originally had aspiration to study Physiotherapy, so I did rotations in a hospital over three days as work experience and I respect the profession a lot. Chiropractic, I only know based on the research that I have done myself and what patients have told me. Having said all this, I will be giving my opinions in a totally unbiased way.
I would like to begin with my experience of Physiotherapy which started from the age of fifteen whilst I played lots of football (recreationally) and suffered with repeated groin injuries. I had treatment privately and by and large it was very professional. The negatives would have been that the exercises I was given were unrealistic to follow as there were so many of them. I literally had pages and pages of A4 of stretches and strengthening exercises to do of which I did once or maybe twice at best as they took me an hour to complete.
Secondly, I found the treatments to be quite localised to my groin and with all the different physio’s I saw over the years there was little treatment if any to other areas or even any consideration of another structure like my back or knee which may have been contributing. So, I found that there would be a familiar pattern that I would re injure my groin repeatedly.
Being an Osteopath now I do know that Physiotherapy has become better at this in recent times. On a positive note, I found their knowledge on rehabilitation and exercises far superior to those of most Osteopaths I have seen over the years.
This journey of injuries to my groin playing football eventually led me to having a right hernia operation when I was 23 years old. Even then before I studied in the health profession, I had a feeling that there was must been a cause to my issues which had not been acknowledged.
This led me to seeing an Osteopath (even though I knew little about them). I had treatment to my groin but if was shown that I had some lower back and hip joints that were restricted that the Osteopath felt was a contributing factor to my symptoms. From this, my condition did improve and although it did re-occur it certainly did so a lot less. This experience shaped my decision to become an Osteopath.
Moving on to Chiropractic, I have seen many videos of them on you tube and can tell they are very well trained at the techniques they do and are like Osteopaths in the way they work. Based on stories from patients though, they manipulate far more regularly than most Osteopaths and thus their treatment times are shorter. Please bear in mind that I am making a generalisation and some Chiropractor will offer longer treatment times and will perform massage and soft tissue work as part of their treatment as well.
So, to conclude it is my belief that based on my experience Physiotherapists’ strength lie in rehabilitation and exercise prescription whereas Osteopaths’ lay in their holistic philosophy and Chiropractors’ in the quality of manipulation they offer.
All three of them I respect and which one you should see would be based on your individual preference of techniques you would prefer to receive and what the condition is. If it is the spine then in Osteopathy and Chiropractic they would see more of these conditions generally so I would recommend them but, if it is anywhere else and it needed rehabilitation, I would say Physiotherapy.
However, as I previously mentioned this is a generalisation and may differ based on the individual’s experience and further training after graduation.