Here is a little more about each, so you’ll know what to expect.
Physiotherapy is focused on movement and function, often following injury or surgery, or when dealing with a physical disability. A physio uses massage, exercise, stretching and hands-on manipulation to treat pain or dysfunction and to improve your mobility and flexibility. Consult times can vary but a 15-30 minute schedule is about average.
A physio may be able to help you with:
- Muscle and joint stiffness or pain
- Recovery from an injury or operation
- Neurological disorders
- Occupational health and safety issues related to your work
If you have any x-rays or scans relevant to your issue, bring these along to your first visit. A physio probably won’t ask you to change into a gown, but wearing loose-fitting clothing will help.
You’ll typically get ‘homework’ in the form of stretching or light exercises when you see a physio – and you’ll find results are much improved if you actually do them!
Chiropractic treatment is focused on treating and preventing musculoskeletal problems throughout the body, using manual adjustments primarily of the spine. They commonly help treat or manage conditions like back and neck pain, headaches and arthritis.
Bring along any spinal x-rays or scans you have to your appointment. As a general rule, Chiropractors work with this kind of imaging more so than other practitioners.
You may be asked to change into a gown in a private room. During the adjustment itself your chiro will mostly use their hands, but some use a hand held device called an activator also. While manual treatments may feel slightly uncomfortable at times, you shouldn’t feel any significant pain.
Chiropractors tend to use a shorter, more frequent consult schedule to manage their patients, so treatments are typically brief (15-20 minutes). After your adjustment most chiropractors recommend a 3-5 minute walk to let the work settle into your body. You may feel a little sore the following day but this is usually mild and transient and most people feel better within 24 hours of a treatment.
Osteopaths focus on the health of the entire body, rather than just the injured or affected part. They look at how your skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulatory system, connective tissues and internal organs function and work together as a whole.
You can see an osteo for issues including
- Back and pelvic pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Sporting injuries
- Nerve pain
- Hip, shoulder and knee pain
As with chiropractors or physiotherapists, osteopaths use their hands to interplay with the systems within the body. Although their manual and massage techniques are often gentler than other types of treatment, they are largely effective in improving musculoskeletal pain and movement restrictions. Like physiotherapists, most Osteopaths will also give you ‘homework’ or prescribe exercises for you to do, to continue improving your pain and movement between sessions.
When you see an Osteopath they’ll also need all of your health information so be sure to bring along any x-rays, scans or test results that might be relevant. An osteopathic assessment and treatment can require you to move about a bit, so wearing loose fitting clothing that you can move freely in is helpful.
As a general rule Osteopaths tend to work to longer consult times with 30-45 minute sessions being about the average. Post-treatment soreness is typical in manual therapies and Osteopathy is no exception, 24 hours of tenderness is common after a session.
Want to know more about osteopathy or how we might approach your injury or issue? Feel free to give us a call on 8703044, we’re always happy to have a chat to help you make sure you can be confident in our care.