Osteo, Physio or Chiro for my pain?

We often hear from many people who are confused about which type of treatment is best for them. Most people think their first port of call following an injury has to be a Physio…but that’s not necessarily the case. Physios, Chiros and Osteos are all primary health care practitioners qualified to diagnose, refer for imaging (x-ray and ultrasound) or specialist care, treat injuries and rehabilitate.  We are all ACC registered with no Dr’s referral required!

So how do you know which one is best for you? As always, it’s a personal preference and you may already have a therapist you trust and have fantastic results within which case, stick with them. If you’re not really sure what the difference is, here’s my observations from years of working with and teaching the different practitioners.


Physio’s are fantastic at diagnosing and providing exercise description. Their training is designed to get you moving through exercise, with minimal emphasis on hands-on treatment.


Chiro’s focus on dysfunctions resulting from the misalignment of the spine.  Treatments are typically 10-15 mins long (some people love short sessions!) and may involve an X-ray, manipulation and some soft tissue release.


What drew me to Osteopathy is that it encompasses both modalities but with much longer session or treatment times. As an Osteopath, I am able to make your sore bits hurt less through manipulation, articulation and/or soft tissue release, establish what caused it in the first place so hopefully it doesn’t happen again, and prescribe you some realistic home care.

During a recent chat with a leading NZ healthcare practitioner – whom I best not name (but who have just launched some pretty awesome collagen powder!) –  they commented: “why would I go to a Chiro or Physio when I could see an Osteo and have the best of both”.  Couldn’t have said it better myself!

That being said, every practitioner works uniquely, despite their training. Some physios love hands-on treatment, some chiros don’t manipulate and some osteopaths believe in cranial-sacral therapy…don’t get me started, that’s for another blog.

Personally, I have a referral list of physios and chiros that are at the top of their game and frequently work with patients existing practitioners, if that’s best for them. At the end of the day, all any good therapist wants is for you to feel better, so if that sounds like it aligns with you and you want to know more about how we can help you? Book a time with us. If it’s your first osteopathic treatment with us, refer to this newsletter and we’ll take $20 off your first treatment with us.  Pretty good deal huh!  We look forward to seeing you in the clinic.

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​The benefits of a fully functioning body are immeasurable. Osteopathy can help restore your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Book your initial consultation and then let’s get you moving towards a healthier, more vital, body today.