What’s the difference between a physio and osteopath?

What's the difference between a physio and osteopath?

The osteopathy and physiotherapy have many similarities due to which they are considered to be the two different names of a treatment. Therefore, people often end up hiring an osteopath when they are searching for “physio near me”. But you shouldn’t get confused because these are the two different professions. There is no doubt that both treatments are considered to be helpful for reducing pain, improving mobility and improving the quality of life.

But you cannot forget that there are some elements that make them different from each other. Osteopathy is particularly targeted towards patients that are experiencing pain or injury such as sports injuries, leg pain, back pain, or work-related strains. On the contrary, the physiotherapy isn’t just limited to the injuries. It can also be helpful for general health and wellbeing. Physiotherapy is also a useful option for patients that are suffering from long term illnesses.

What's the difference between a physio and osteopath?

The osteopaths use 90% hands-on techniques that are known as palpation and manipulation. These treatments are supposed to improve the movement of the muscles gently. On the other hand, the physio uses multiple techniques including manipulation, ultrasound, hydrotherapy, and electrotherapy. The physiotherapists suggest different exercises based on the health of the patients and only 60% of their work is hands-on.


The physiotherapists consistently keep an eye on the patient when they are performing exercises. And then they carry out the massage therapy. The physiotherapists put focus on specific parts of the body while the osteopaths are focused on treating the body as a whole.


Another important thing about osteopathy is that it’s not just limited to massage therapy. It also involves the use of medicine to treat several health problems.

The osteopathy moves around the concept that all the systems of our body are interconnected and they can easily heal when other parts of the body are healed. On the other hand, the physiotherapy is somehow similar to western medicine as it puts a focus on the affected area of the body.


The training process for both professions is also different. The physiotherapists are registered with the Health Professions Council and they take a 3-4 year undergraduate degree. Similarly, the osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council and they get a degree with the four to five years graduation program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *