Should I see a physio, osteopath, chiropractor or a sports therapist and what is the difference?
Our Taunton Osteopaths are masters of palpation, using their hands to detect sites of tension, weakness or strain. They look at the body as a whole, rather than just the injured site. The aim is to address imbalances anywhere to alleviate symptoms. Sessions are likely to include passive joint movements, neuromuscular techniques, and high-speed, low amplitude adjustments.
Best for: Chronic injuries and postural imbalances, back pain, trapped nerves, headaches.
Traditionally, a physio would focus on the affected area, but we like to take a more holistic approach to injury. Treatment can be more exercise-based and less hands-on than osteopathy. Taping and Acupuncture/Dry Needling may be used alongside stretching, soft-tissue massage or manipulation within the session.
Best for: Acute and overuse injuries
While osteopaths and physios are trained to deal with all musculoskeletal problems, a sports therapist specializes in sport and exercise injuries, with a strong focus on sports first aid. A treatment plan is likely to include massage and taping, along with remedial exercises and, if necessary, specialist referral. However, the profession is unregulated.
Best for: Immediate attention of acute injuries, rehab plans
Chiropractic treatment is aimed at treating problems with the bones, muscles, and joints, with a focus on the spine. It’s mostly used for back pain and chronic problems. Our McTimoney Chiropractor will use high-speed low amplitude ‘adjustments’ to help restore movement to joints, this a very safe and gentle treatment that is suitable for all ages.
Best for: Management and treatment of back pain and related neural conditions such as sciatica
These therapists are not qualified to diagnose injuries, but the techniques they learn (not just massage but other forms of soft-tissue manipulation, such as assisted stretching) can aid recovery and assist healing. Regular treatments also allow a practitioner to spot the warning signs of injury before you become aware of them. Many of our Osteopathy and Sports Injury team offer sports massage treatment.