Osteopathy and Physiotherapy: different and complementary

Albert Giménez

27 of December, 2018

In our country, it is very normal for us to ask ourselves what is the difference between osteopathy and physiotherapy. Discover us the differences.

In our country, it is very normal for us to ask ourselves what is the difference between osteopathy and physiotherapy. This is because neither Spanish legislation nor professional colleges have given an adequate and complete definition of the osteopath and the practices it carries out. Osteopathy is often associated with physiotherapy and are two independent and complementary specialties.

Physiotherapy is one of the disciplines of health sciences, and its main objectives are the Physical rehabilitation and readaptation in daily life, helping to improve the quality of life of people. It is also very effective in the prevention of various pathologies.
Currently, within physiotherapy, there are several specialties, and, although the traumatology and manual are best known for their effectiveness in sports injuries, there are specific branches in the respiratory system, oncology, aesthetics, neurology, work in the aquatic environment, etc.

According to its definition of 1968 WHO (World Health Organization) defines physiotherapy as: 'The art and science of treatment through therapeutic exercise and physical agents such as heat, cold, the light, the water, the massage and the electricity. In addition, physiotherapy includes the execution of electrical and manual tests to determine the value of affectation and muscle strength, tests to determine functional capacities, the amplitude of the joint movement and measures of the vital capacity, as well as diagnostic aids for the control of evolution '.

For the WCPT (World Confederation for Physical Therapy) or the World Confederation for Physiotherapy, it deals with the "set of methods, actions and techniques that by the application of physical agents cure, prevent, retrieve and readapt patients susceptible to treatment physiotherapist ".

The College of Physiotherapists of Catalonia 1990 does not talk about the dysfunctions of the movement but of the functionality in general: 'Physiotherapy constitutes an autonomous profession and with its own identity within the health field, the objective is to preserve, restore and increase the level of health of the citizens in order to improve the living conditions of the person and the Community and specifically the prevention, promotion, maintenance and recovery of functionality through any manual, physical means and chemicals at your fingertips'

WHO, in November of 2010, establishes the reference points for the exercise of traditional and complementary medicines, including osteopathy. This manifesto describes it as follows: 'Osteopathy (also called osteopathic medicine) depends on manual contact for diagnosis and treatment. Respect the relationship between body, mind and spirit, in health and illness; Emphasizes the structural and functional integrity of the body and its intrinsic tendency to heal itself. This text includes the need to integrate traditional medicine with osteopathy into the health systems of each country, as countries that mix both types of medication become stronger in providing care and care to patients, creating a Healthier system more secure, effective and quality.

Osteopathy uses a wide variety of therapeutic techniques manuals for improve physiological function and / or help homeostasis that has been altered by somatic dysfunction (body structure), that is, the damaged or altered function of the components related to the somatic system, bone, articular and myofascial structures and related vascular, lymphatic and neural elements.

Osteopathic practitioners use their understanding of the Relationship between structure and function to optimize self-regulating and self healing capabilities of the body. This holistic approach to the healing and healing of the patient is based on the idea that human beings are a dynamic functional unit, in which all the parts are interrelated, and that it has its own self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms.

The practice of osteopathy is different from other professions related to healthcare that use manual techniques, such as physiotherapy and chiropractic, despite the coincidences in the techniques and interventions employed. As a personal and practical approach to patient care, osteopathy has contributed to the body of medical knowledge of manual, complementary and alternative practices.

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Albert Giménez

Sports physician and osteopath of the Claror Sardenya

Degree in Medicine (UAB). Osteopath

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