top of page

Whats the difference?


When it comes to managing musculoskeletal issues and chronic pain, there are several healthcare professionals to choose from. Chiropractors, Osteopaths, and Physiotherapists are all commonly sought-after practitioners in the United Kingdom, but what sets them apart? In this blog post, we'll explore the key differences between these three professions to help you make an informed choice for your healthcare needs.


Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders related to the musculoskeletal system, particularly focusing on the spine. Here are some key aspects of chiropractic care:

  • Philosophy: Chiropractors believe that many health problems can be traced back to spinal misalignments or subluxations that can disrupt the nervous system's function. They use manual adjustments to realign the spine and improve overall health.

  • Treatment Approach: Chiropractors primarily use hands-on spinal manipulation techniques to correct misalignments. They may also offer advice on posture, exercises, and lifestyle changes to support their treatments.

  • Licensing: Chiropractors in the UK must be registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) to practice legally. They typically complete a four-year undergraduate degree and are highly trained in spinal manipulation techniques.


Osteopaths, like Chiropractors, are healthcare professionals who focus on the musculoskeletal system. However, there are some notable differences between the two:

  • Philosophy: Osteopaths take a broader approach. They believe that optimal health requires proper alignment of all body systems. They emphasize the interconnectedness of the body's structure and function.

  • Treatment Approach: Osteopathic treatment often involves a range of manual techniques, including manipulation, stretching, and soft tissue massage. Osteopaths aim to restore balance and function throughout the body.

  • Licensing: Osteopaths in the UK are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). They undergo extensive training, typically completing a four to five-year undergraduate degree in osteopathy.


Physiotherapists, also known as physical therapists in some countries, have a broader scope of practice compared to Chiropractors and Osteopaths:

  • Philosophy: Physiotherapists focus on restoring and improving physical function, mobility, and independence. They use evidence-based practices to address a wide range of musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal conditions.

  • Treatment Approach: Physiotherapy involves a variety of treatments, such as exercise prescription, manual therapy, electrotherapy, and education. Physiotherapists work on rehabilitation, injury prevention, and overall physical well-being.

  • Licensing: Physiotherapists in the UK are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). They must complete a degree in physiotherapy and often have a diverse skill set to address a wide range of patient needs.


In the United Kingdom, chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists all play crucial roles in helping individuals manage musculoskeletal issues and improve their overall health. The choice between these healthcare professionals should depend on your specific needs and preferences.

If you're looking for spinal adjustments and believe that misalignments in your spine are causing health issues, a chiropractor may be the right choice. Osteopaths may be suitable for those seeking a broader range of treatments. Physiotherapists, are well-suited for individuals looking to improve physical function, recover from injuries, or enhance their overall mobility and well-being. Ideally all should follow evidence-based practices.

Ultimately, the choice between these professions should be based on your individual health goals and the recommendations of your primary healthcare provider. Regardless of your choice, all three professions are dedicated to helping you lead a healthier, more active life.

If you are suffering from any spine joint or musculoskeletal ailments contact our clinic today for an assessment.


bottom of page