What is the difference between an osteo, a physio and a chiro?

This is definitely one of the most common questions we get asked!

It is always a tricky one for any of the three professions to answer because it is very rare to have someone who is qualified in all three who can give an accurate and unbiased summary. Amazingly, I have met people who two of the qualifications but never three. Imagine their uni debt!!!

For me the choice was easy. I thought I wanted to be a physiotherapist when I left school. That was until I went to the open day at the uni and something just didn’t feel right for me. So I started exploring my other options.

We had always seen chiropractors growing up but again that didn’t feel like what I was looking for.

Then I found osteopathy!

When people ask me “so what is the difference…”, I always start by saying “obviously I am biased BUT I chose to study Osteopathy for a reason”.

I love the wholistic nature of osteopathic treatment and care and I believe we have more treatment tools in our belt that the other professions. My theory is, the more treatment options you have to utilise, the more injuries and ailments you can get better!

But let’s compare shall we? Keep in mind there is many differences between the three professions and a short article like this wont cover everything. But here’s a basic comparison table with some of the main differences.

 OsteopathyPhysiotherapyChiropractic
Degree typeBachelor and MastersBachelorBachelor and Masters
Study length4.5-5 years4 years4.5-5 years
Can use title ‘doctor’YesNo (unless further study)Yes
ManipulationYesNo (unless further study)Yes
Placement locationPrivate clinicsHospitalsPrivate clinics
Standard appointment length (on average)30 mins20 mins5-10 mins

Really the most important thing is for a patient to find someone they are comfortable with, that they trust and that they walk out of their appointments with feeling better or at least having a plan of attack.

I hope for you that it is osteopathy. If you aren’t convinced, book an appointment and I’m sure that after your appointment we’ll have you convinced!

You can call the clinic on 03 8790 0136 or book online now. See you in the clinic soon!

Mirae Business owner and Osteopath