Few people are lucky enough to escape some sort of physical pain or injury at some point in their life, whether this is a bad back or a sprained ankle or one of hundreds of other complaints. Sometimes these things get better quickly on their own, but very often a problem that isn’t addressed properly becomes chronic and causes on-going pain and dysfunction.
It is easy to put off seeking advice or treatment. You may be busy, deterred by long NHS waiting times and having to take time off work for treatment, or you may have considered private treatment but not know where to go to for help. Do you need to see a physiotherapist, a chiropractor or an osteopath? It can be confusing and you probably want to find out more before making a choice.
We have put together this guide so that you don’t have to waste more precious time trying to find enough information to help you make your decision. The purpose of the guide is not to recommend one approach (physiotherapy, osteopathy or chiropractic) over another, but rather to explain the fundamental concepts on which each of these professions is based, what they do, how they work and the sort of conditions they treat so you can make an informed choice yourself.
We also tell you what qualifications physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors hold, how they are regulated by law and, importantly, how to check whether an individual is appropriately qualified and registered.
We have included some practical information about how to access treatment and average costs of seeing somebody privately. The good news is that very often treatment is covered by private health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance and you are concerned about cost, even a one-off session for assessment and advice from your chosen practitioner about how you can help yourself can be invaluable.
If you have any feedback on the guide or suggestions for improvements, please add a comment below.