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Blog: Questions I Get Asked

What’s the difference between an osteopath, a chiropractor and a physiotherapist?

They mostly don’t think quite like us, but we osteopaths have a lot to learn from chiropractors and physiotherapists…

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I don’t know much about osteopathy. Can you tell me about it?

To be honest, as a profession, we osteopaths have been pretty poor at explaining what we do. I don’t know if I can do better, but here’s my take on osteopathy…

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Do you treat (fill in the type of condition)…

No. And yes. Sort of. It’s complicated…

Do you treat (fill in the type of patient)…

Yes. From the very young to the very old to the very challenged, I treat them. That doesn’t mean I “fix” them. But osteopathy can be useful for a really wide range of people, because there are so many different techniques to choose from…

You treat me really differently to the osteopath I used to see.Why is that?

It isn’t just just that I treat you differently to another osteopath. I might treat you completely differently next visit. Let me explain…

Do you know that you are doing? (Usually askded more politely: something like “how long have you been practicing?”)

I’ve been doing this since 2002, after studying it full time for five, and I work hard to learn more all the time. But truthfully; I probably don’t have a very good idea at all about what I’m doing at all. Let me explain…

Why don’t more people know about you?

There are a lot of reasons for that; and they are mostly our fault…

Why doesn’t my doctor think about my medical problem the way you do?

Most doctors learned a lot of what they know in hospitals, and a lot more of it from people who spend a lot of their time there. That has given them an interesting way of thinking about health and disease…

Is what you do “scientific”?

Yes.I’d argue that osteopathy more scientific than most of what happens in medicine. That’s a big call, so I’d better be prepared to back it up…

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