Because both a Chiropractor and an Osteopath work with a patient’s entire body, many people get the two confused. The truth is that, while Chiropractics and Osteopathy are similar, they are independent schools of thought and their approach to patient treatment is different.
A Chiropractor is a person who is interested in how a person’s body works, but views the workings of a body primarily through the spinal and muscular systems. Usually a Chiropractor focuses on pain relief and injury recovery. He or she will use spine and joint adjustments, massage, electrical stimulation and rehabilitative exercise to help a patient heal as well as working with the patient in other areas of his life (primarily diet and exercise programs).
An Osteopath is a person who is interested in a person’s entire body. An Osteopath does not focus only on the muscular and spinal system. He or she will examine a person’s entire body to determine the root of the patient’s problem. The osteopath is usually visited in a patient’s effort to combat pain or injury, but osteopaths have been known to treat other problems as well. Treatment from an osteopath can involve massage, physical therapy, body adjustments, rehabilitative exercise and lifestyle advice.
Both Chiropractors and Osteopaths use treatments that involve the moving of a person’s body outside its usual range of motion. A Chiropractor will do this by swiftly moving a joint out of its usual range of motion and putting it back in its starting position. An Osteopath will usually employ a more gentle technique that stretches the muscles surrounding a joint in ways that they are not used to stretching.
Chiropractic therapy is actually derived from Osteopathy. Osteopathy was invented by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in 1872 and Chiropractic care was invented by Daniel David Palmer, a student of Dr. Still in 1895.
The major difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor is that while the Chiropractor is primarily focused on the spine and joints (and the muscles too-to a point), an Osteopath is also concerned with the rest of the body. He or she might treat patients with respiratory problems, digestive problems or any other number of problems that might not seem related to the spine or joints.
Both Chiropractors and Osteopaths will give you an excellent level of care.
Physiotherapy is another treatment method that uses palpitation (massage) to alleviate symptoms and students have to carry out an accredited 3 or 4 year university course (graduating with a BSc Physiotherapy) before they can become registered as a practising physiotherapist. Whilst this appears to be very similar to osteopathy, there are a number of subtle differences between osteopathy and physiotherapy that may make one treatment method more suitable for you than the other. Physiotherapy is very popular within the NHS and is therefore a common form of treatment that is referred to by GPs, hospital doctors and surgeons.
Unlike osteopaths, physiotherapists do not often diagnose specific ailments or illnesses (this is often because their patients have been referred to them by a GP who has pre-diagnosed the problem). It is common for patients to be referred to a physiotherapist for a specific problem. For example, if you break your leg badly, you will often be referred to a physiotherapist who will treat you and give you exercises to carry out at home in order to strengthen your muscles back up during your recovery. So, whilst osteopaths treat your body as a whole (in a holistic manner), physiotherapists will often concentrate on the problem stated by the referee (or the patient) so that the treatment is more specified for the ailment.
Physiotherapy treatment would be more area specific than osteopathic treatment. For example if you were having physiotherapy treatment on your knee, they would mostly work in the area around the knee joint as well as giving you some knee exercises to carry out at home. However an osteopath would treat your body as a whole and would potentially want to include treatments that would improve your posture as a whole (so they might want to massage around your knee, hip and back and give you advice on how to improve your posture to reduce the strain on your knee).
Please visit the Osteopathy page for information on what conditions we treat.
Osteopathic consultation and initial treatment (allow up to 60 minutes) – £59
Follow up Osteopathic treatment (allow up to 30 minutes)* – £42
Follow up Osteopathic treatment (allow up to 45 minutes) – £53
Follow up Osteopathic treatment (allow up to 60 minutes) – £63
*A 30 minute follow up session is suitable for most patients, however, a 45 or 60 minute option is offered for those of you who prefer a longer session.
Payment is taken at the end of every session and is payable by cash or card.
A 24 hour cancellation policy is implemented in the clinic to give your Osteopath the chance to offer your appointment to someone else who is in need of it. If 24 hours notice is not given to cancel a scheduled appointment, then a flat rate fee of £20 will be requested from you. As late cancellations and missed appointments are a fact of life, extenuating circumstances will be considered, if relevant and the fee waived at the discretion of your Osteopath.
As with any medical examination, you will probably be asked to undress to your underwear, so please wear something you are comfortable in.
Yes – if you wish, you can have someone present throughout your consultation and treatment.
Some soft tissue treatment may cause discomfort during treatment. Your osteopath will tell you what to expect, and will want you to let them know if you are in pain. You may feel stiff or sore after treatment, which is a normal, healthy response to the treatment.
You do not need to see your doctor first if you are paying for your own treatment. However, some insurance companies require you to see your doctor first. Osteopathy is available on the NHS in some areas – and national guidelines say it should be available everywhere for low back pain.
The number of treatments you need depends on the condition and person we are treating. We aim to keep your appointments to a minimum. Your osteopath will be able to tell you within a short period of time whether they can treat you or if they need to refer you to another healthcare professional.
If you have a complaint or concern about the level of care you have received from an Osteopath or any member of staff at the clinic, please let us know.
Our promise to you is that we shall:
- Treat your complaint seriously and in the strictest of confidence
- Work promptly to resolve your complaint or concern
- Learn lessons from the investigation and, wherever possible, use them to improve our service
You can make your complaint to the Principal Osteopath or practice manager by phone, in person or by email:
Your complaint will be investigated in the following few days and we will aim to:
- Find out what has happened and what went wrong
- Deal with your complaint and reach an amicable resolution
- Make sure that you receive an explanation and an apology, if this is appropriate
- Identify what we can do so as the issue does not arise again
If you do not feel that your complaint has been resolved to your satisfaction, you can talk to an independant source about it by ringing the British Osteopathic Association on Freephone 0800 110 5857, or via email:
If you are concerned about your safety, or the safety of others and wish to make a formal complaint, please do so by contacting The General Osteopathic Council on 020 7357 6655
Please note: The General Osteopathic Council cannot award compensation