In order to answer this it is useful to gain an understanding of the definition of each of the therapies:

Osteopathy recognises the need for medical investigations into symptoms, when indicated and uses many of the diagnostic procedures used in conventional medical assessment and diagnosis.

Its' main strength however lies in the unique way in which the patient is assessed from a mechanical, functional postural standpoint and manual methods of treatment applied that suit the need of the individual patient rather than specific treatment for a specific problem. (Ref GOsC 2008)

Chiropractic is a primary health care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions that are due to problems with joint, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the body, particularly those of the spine. Treatment consists of a wider range of manipulative techniques designed to improve the function of joints leading to reduce of pain and muscular spasm. Chiropractors give advice on lifestyle, work and exercise. The term Doctor is an honorary title that qualified Chiropractors are permitted to use, although not all do. They are Doctors of Chiropractic and NOT Medical doctors (unless they have a medical degree or other doctorate).
(Ref: British Chiropractic Association)

Physiotherapy is a health care profession concerned with human function and movement and maximising potential. It uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore, physical, psychological and social well-being, taking account of variations in health status. It is science based, and views movement as central to health and well being. Physiotherapists aim to identify and make the most of movement ability by health promotion, preventive advice, treatment and rehabilitation. Core skills used by chartered physiotherapists include manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and application of electro-physical modalities. Physiotherapists believe it is vital importance to take not of psychological, cultural and social factors which influence their clients. They try and bring the patients into an active role to help make the best of independence and function.
(Ref: Charter Society of Physiotherapy)

Collectively the 3 professional groups are involved in the management of 15-20% of people with low back pain in the UK. Furthermore low back pain accounts for more than half of the workload of these groups.

However, each professional group will look at any problem with the body; from the head to the feet. Approaches used by these practitioners are individual, and each will have their own unique style of addressing problems. A good starting point for making a decision for you is a personal recommendation.

ALWAYS check that the practitioner is registered with their governing body!

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