Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, or Osteopath: Who Should You See When You Are In Pain?

In this day and age, people seek to move beyond the boundaries of conventional treatments. More and more of them start to rely on physiotherapy, chiropractic, and osteopathy. Some people even prefer a combination of all three, to ensure they get speedy and optimum recovery.

In the ever growing health industry, we are overwhelmed with different kinds of practitioners. Each profession has its own philosophy, and there are fundamental differences in the approach these professions take with people.  For some folks, this leaves the question of which therapy is the right one.

The Australian government employs thousands of physiotherapists – compared to none or very few osteopaths or chiropractors.

Let’s take a look at the differences of each:


Physiotherapy focuses on assisting in restoring movement and function after an injury or physical disability. Physiotherapists do this by assessing musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Physiotherapists encourage physical activity to help restore function. They do this by prescribing exercises.

Physiotherapy takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, including a patient’s general lifestyle. The patient has an involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment, and participation in their treatment.


In chiropractic, chiropractors generally treat pain using joint manipulation (“clicking and cracking” or adjustments), either of the spine or the limbs. Most chiropractors will assess and treat the spine, before they move on to other things.

Chiropractors focus on the intimate relationship between the nervous system and the spine. They hold true the belief that biomechanical and structural abnormalities of the spine can affect the nervous system. By restoring the integrity of the spine, the pressure on the nerves will be reduced and consequently improve the health of the patient.


Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and their effects on general health. It recognises the vital link between the structure of the body and the way it functions.

Osteopaths believe in the principle that the body is its own medicine chest. Osteopaths treat existing conditions and/or prevent illness by strengthening the musculoskeletal system.


Despite of their differences, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths share the same role – to help relieve pain and significantly improve the quality of life of each patient. Generally, they tend to focus on helping people with muscular and skeletal problems.

So to answer the question, who you should see when you’re in pain, there’s actually no right or wrong one. When it comes to who gives the best treatment, it all goes down to the type of problem you have. As being said, they have their unique ways of treating pain and restoring function.

But here is an important thing you should consider. If you’re choosing a practitioner to help with your problem, look for someone recommended by many people. Choose someone with many positive reviews, someone who shares advice and information and encourages people to live happy and healthy.

Once you’ve decided on the practitioner, get in touch with the person. A caring practitioner will be happy to talk to you, reassuring that he/she likes to help. If you are able to find someone who works well for you, stick with that practitioner. The main concern is finding someone you trust and are comfortable with!

Here at Happy Physio, rest assured that you’ll be taken great care of when you’re in pain. Feel free to call us today on 92727359!