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What is the difference between a Physiotherapist and an Osteopath?

Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals who help people recover from physical impairments, disabilities or pain. They focus on treating specific physical problems, such as joint pain, muscle stiffness or weakness, and work with patients to improve their physical function and mobility through exercise therapy, electrotherapy and other techniques.

Osteopath vs Physiotherapist

Osteopaths are also healthcare professionals who specialize in treating musculoskeletal problems, but their approach is more holistic. They see the body as an interconnected system and focus on treating the root cause of the problem rather than just the symptoms. Osteopaths use manual techniques such as joint mobilization, soft tissue massage, and stretching to restore balance and harmony to the body's structure and function, and aim to promote the body's natural healing process.

So while physiotherapists focus on treating specific physical problems, osteopaths take a more comprehensive approach, looking at the whole body to identify and treat underlying issues that may be contributing to the problem.

The two often complement each other greatly. For example, a patient with chronic back pain may see an osteopath to identify and treat any underlying sructural issues that may be contributing to their pain and then work with a physiotherapist to develop an exercise program to strengthen their muscles and improve their posture.

Book yourself an Osteopathy appointment in Zurich by clicking here.

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