Guide 8 – Differences between Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists

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These guides are for employers looking to help their staff understand how to protect themselves from lower back pain - especially those prone to suffer due to the work they do. Staff absenteeism due …

These guides are for employers looking to help their staff understand how to protect themselves from lower back pain - especially those prone to suffer due to the work they do. Staff absenteeism due to lower back pain is a major problem in Scotland. active-x clinics works with Edinburgh based businesses and can come in to talk to your staff and/or set up a health management program.

Not an HR professional? Feel free to pass this on to your HR department.

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  • 1. About this guideThis free guide has been provided by Clinic Director and Osteopath GavinRoutledge from activex clinics in Edinburgh. If your work involves sitting forlong periods at a desk, lifting heavy objects or you are just prone to back painthere is a lot you can do to help yourself.Your employer has recognised the importance of helping youmanage your health and has provided you with a copy of thisguide. If you have any questions about low back pain or anyother kind of pain that you need answering please check with aregistered professional.This is one of 10 guides that will answer all the questions youhave about back care health. Feel free to pass it on to anyoneyou know who might find this information useful.For more help you can visit our blog on our Facebook Page can also follow me on Twitter Clinic0131 221 1415or 0845 2601520activex clinics14 Stafford StreetEdinburghEH3 7AUMon-Fri: 8.30am-8pmSat: 8.45am-4pm back guide provided by active-x clinics Telephone 0131 221 1415
  • 2. The 10 Guides Included in this series are: 1. How does my lower back work? 2. What is the cause of my pain? 3. Dos and Don’ts of back pain 4. Best positions for sitting, standing and lying down 5. I’m overweight – how does that affect my back pain? 6. What’s better for the pain – heat or ice? 7. Should I wear a back support? 8. Differences between Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists 9. Exercise – you have got to be joking! 10. Useful back pain advice to followFree back guide provided by active-x clinics Telephone 0131 221 1415
  • 3. Differences between Chiropractors, Osteopaths andPhysiotherapistsIn this guide I want to take you through  How they can help  The difference between the three professions  How to find one and what to look forAs soon as you are able to cope with getting around again get off to see achiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist. The sooner the better because itwill help you through your back pain much more quicker than “fighting” italone; it is money well spent on your health, and ensures you are up and activeas quickly as possible.How they can help youThese professionals are trained to diagnose and manage people suffering fromback problems (and many other disorders.) By diagnosing what is wrong withyour back they will be able to reassure you, treat you using whatever meansare most appropriate, give advice tailored to suit you, and help you come upwith an exercise plan to get you back on your feet.You do not need to get a referral from your GP to consult one of theseprofessionals privately, although you may wish to discuss it with your GP: he orshe may be able to recommend someone.What’s the difference?(These definitions have been taken from the different professions’ literature.)Chiropractic is a profession which specialises in the diagnosis, treatment andoverall management of conditions which are due to mechanical dysfunction ofjoints.Osteopathy focuses on the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, ligaments,muscles and connective tissue) and the way in which this inter-relates with thebody as a whole. It combines scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiologyFree back guide provided by active-x clinics Telephone 0131 221 1415
  • 4. and clinical methods ofinvestigation. Osteopaths diagnoseand treat faults which occurbecause of injury or stress, allowingthe body to restore itself to normalfunction. A caring approach andattention to the individual isconsidered particularly important.Physiotherapy is a health careprofession which emphasises theuse of physical approaches in thepromotion, maintenance andrestoration of an individual’s physical, psychological and social well-being,encompassing variations in health status.You can see from the above definitions (if you can follow them!) that these aresimilar professions. Traditionally osteopathy and chiropractic are manipulativeapproaches to health care – the practitioners use their hands mostly.Physiotherapy has been more exercise-based and uses more electrotherapy(e.g. ultrasound).However, there has been a swing in recent years in physiotherapy towardmore manipulative procedures. A study in Scotland in the early 1990’s into thesimilarities and differences between the three professions demonstrated thatthere were more differences within each profession than there were betweenthem: the sort of treatment you get depends more on the individualpractitioner. The important thing to establish when you decide to consult oneof them is that they are used to working with people who have back problems.How Do I Find One and What Do I Look For?The ideal way to find one of these professionals is a recommendation from afriend. Most private practitioners will be listed in a directory or you can use theinternet to search for one in your local area.People within the profession will have an online presence that includes not justa website but a blog and you can connect with them on social media. UsingFree back guide provided by active-x clinics Telephone 0131 221 1415
  • 5. social media is a great way for looking at reviews and comments from otherpeople.Osteopathy and chiropractic are over 100 years old and were first developed inAmerica. Both professions were only practised in the private sector for the first80 years in Britain. However, they are increasingly available through the NHSnow (more in England), due to their popularity and the recognition given tothem by other medial bodies.Osteopaths and Chiropractors are regulated by statute; that means that it is acriminal offence for anyone to say they are an osteopath or chiropractor unlessregistered with the General Osteopathic Council or General ChiropracticCouncil. These bodies have the same powers as the General Medical Councilhas over Doctors.Read Our Other GuidesThere are 10 guides available in total that you can download from our blog at will find a list of exercises for back pain that will help you begin theprocess of strengthening your neck, shoulders and back. Regular physicalactivity and exercise is the key to a strong lower back you need any help or support with pain, you are interested in us speaking toyour staff about what they can do to look after their back and helpthemselves and/or any other query please call me – Clinic Director of activexGavin Routledge on 0131 221 1415Free back guide provided by active-x clinics Telephone 0131 221 1415