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Physiotherapy vs Osteopathy – Unraveling the Differences

February 28, 2024
Physiotherapy vs Osteopathy – Unraveling the Differences

Physiotherapy encompasses a wide range of specialties, all of which work to promote healthy movement and functionality. Patients frequently wonder which of these, which includes physiotherapy and osteopathy as essential roles, best matches their needs. We will debunk these therapeutic techniques for you today.

Understanding Physiotherapy

The sciences of movement serve as the foundation for physiotherapy, commonly referred to as physical therapy. It seeks to improve or restore function to particular bodily components that have been compromised by damage, illness, or aging.

Physiotherapists Use a Range of Methods

  • Strength, flexibility, and endurance are improved by therapeutic activities.
  • Techniques used in manual treatment include soft tissue massage and joint mobility.
  • Utilising techniques like heat therapy, TENS, or ultrasound can help relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Information and suggestions to prevent future injuries.

Osteopathy: What is it?

musculoskeletal system’s importance in both health and sickness is emphasised by osteopathy, a holistic approach to therapy. The goal of osteopathy is to strengthen and manipulate the musculoskeletal system in order to improve health throughout all body systems.

An osteopath might employ methods like:

  • Adjustments that are structural or “high velocity” (like those employed in chiropractic therapy).
  • Joint mobilisation and soft tissue massage.
  • A mild, non-invasive kind of treatment is cranial osteopathy.
  • Prescribing physical activity and giving lifestyle recommendations to advance health.

The Differences in Approach

While physiotherapy often adopts a problem-specific strategy, concentrating on the location of the injury or illness, osteopathy adopts a more holistic strategy, considering the body as a whole.


Manual treatment and exercise prescription are used by both professions, however, how they are applied can vary. While physiotherapists frequently utilise more movement-based exercises, osteopaths frequently use more manipulative adjustments.


Orthopaedics, neurology, sports medicine, and respiratory care are just a few of the many accepted specialties in physiotherapy. Osteopathy, in contrast, has not historically diversified into specialised fields.


While physiotherapy and osteopathy have the same overall objective of assisting patients in overcoming pain and enhancing their health, their methods, specialisations, and methods can vary. Both can be crucial in managing musculoskeletal health, and the choice is frequently influenced by the person’s preferences, beliefs, and particular conditions. Our team of skilled physiotherapists at Southgate Physio Clinic is prepared to assist you on your path to better health and well-being.

If you want to know more, feel free to get in touch with us by calling 0208 3686767 or emailing us at

Physiotherapy Services We Offer

Our clinic offers a wide range of treatments that are all recommended and tailored to everyone who comes and visits us. Our range of treatments complements the body and mind, helping to keep you pain and injury-free, delivering preventative measures to maintain your well-being and enhance your performance levels.

Our main aim is to restore your personal well-being so you can enjoy an active, healthy, and pain-free life. Click on any of the services to find out a little more about each treatment and understand if it might be right for you.

Simply Contact Us or give one of our physiotherapists a call on 02083686767 or email us on to book a physiotherapy appointment.

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