Tel: 01707 888 229

Osteopath or Physiotherapist?

Osteopathy or Physiotherapy treatments aim to resolve pain quickly and effectively as possible. In general, the style and approach of treatments can be variable. Interestingly experience shows that practitioners treatment methods also vary enormously amongst individuals of the same profession. Both occupations also vary their approach and treatment depending on the individual professional and the patients presenting symptoms on the day. Each treatment is unique, effective and works to resolve the root of the problem. 

We won’t charge you a penny more

One of the benefits of having three or four individual professions within The Hatfield Practice is the ability to cross-refer between the specialisms. A Physiotherapist, Osteopath or Traditional Acupuncturist may treat you during the same appointment slot. Acupuncture may be used to reduce nerve pain or inflammation after the Physiotherapy treatment. The Hatfield Practice unique approach to treatment enables us to treat you as effectively as possible. Combining Osteopathy, Physiotherapy with Acupuncture can be enormously useful and is only usually available at last stop NHS specialist pain clinics. If you see more than one specialism during your consultation, we won’t charge you a penny more. Our dynamic “triage” approach to treatment is one of the reasons people recommend us. 

A few helpful words and direct advice may help enormously

Choosing which specialist to see for treatment can be difficult and often confusing? Sometimes it is just easier to  Contact us and speak to a member of our team. Perhaps directly to a Physiotherapist or Osteopath regarding the symptoms, you may have. A few helpful words and direct advice may help enormously. Hatfield Practice reception team are also very experienced and can Advise you through the process and help you feel make the right decision.  If you see more than one specialism e.g; Physiotherapist and Acupuncturist during the consultation, we won’t charge you a penny more. This dynamic approach is often highly effective and one of the reasons people recommend us. 

In short, if you have previously had complimentary treatment, you may know what works best for you and down to your personal experience and preference. Our thoughts are its best to do something rather than nothing at all. Furthermore, if your symptoms are not responding to self-treatments such as ice, heat, rest or painkillers treatment may save you days of pain and discomfort.

No-nonsense, effective advice 

Commonly muscle and joint pains are due to “overdoing it” type injuries or aggravating the existing wear and tear within the body creating pain and inflammation. Usually, these types of strains clear up after a few days. You can always treat these types of aches and strains with painkillers, maybe ice during the first 24hrs, rest and or gentle exercise to ease the discomfort. If symptoms persist seek advice from an Osteopath  Physiotherapist or Acupuncturist or Gp for painkillers. If you have a high temperature, abdominal pains or feel unwell, then it is better to call your Gp or dial emergency 111 straight away.

Its always better to be safe as the pain presentations can be complicated and internet searches may complicate matters further. Of course never to ignore pain signals the body sends to you. Our trained staff can help you decide what therapy would suit you best or perhaps just provide advice. If you would like to speak to a Physiotherapist, Osteopath or anyone else, call us for advice on Hatfield 01707 888229. Physiotherapy treatment


Who should I see? Physiotherapist or Osteopath at the Hatfield Physiotherapy Practice

Physiotherapy reduces pain

Physiotherapy treatment typically involves direct hands-on treatment. Physio works well, examines finds and reduces pain levels by improving blood flow to the affected area directly removing inflammation in a natural way. Physiotherapy examination and therapy may come in the form of many varying treatment approaches. For example, with muscle or joint pain, a gentle or deep massage may help relax muscles and ease swollen joints. As recovery of the injured area progresses the physiotherapy or Osteopathy techniques maybe be firmer and focus directly on surrounding body parts to improve the primary cause. When the body is very inflamed, hands-on treatments may be “too much.” Often at these times electrotherapy or acupuncture can be used alongside physiotherapy and Osteopathy to resolve pain. Rehabilitation is a vital part of the treatment and consists of specific movements and exercises to strengthen the body and re-train muscles. 

Physiotherapy is clinically tested and cost-effective

Above all, physiotherapy is clinically tested, cost-effective and can make an enormous difference to the quality of life.  Physiotherapy is useful for everyday mishaps, work or sports injuries. Physical rehabilitation after road traffic accidents, surgery or illness can also reduce the need for painkillers and ongoing pain. Well respected it covers a well-established group of treatments and techniques. Effective deep tissue massage, electrotherapy, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation is the most common treatments. In some instances, specific exercises are prescribed to strengthen the bodyPhysiotherapy is just about available on the NHS. Unfortunately, these days you may have to wait weeks for treatment. If you decide to see a physiotherapist you can refer yourself directly to the Hatfield Practice as a private patient.

Physiotherapy is effective and dynamic.

  • Hands-on therapies – These can include,  spinal or joint manipulation and mobilisation, manual resistance training (strengthen muscles), and stretching to improve tightness, blood flow and improve the flexibility of nerve pathways.
  • Physiotherapy exercises  – such as muscle strengthening, posture re-training, mobility/flexibility, and ergonomic (desk based) education.
  • Electrotherapy treatments –  Ultrasound,  Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), laser therapy, diathermy, and H-Wave.

Physiotherapy and mobilisation techniques

Physiotherapy “mobilisation” is a style of manual therapy that involves the use of small, rhythmical movements applied to stiff or painful joints, muscles, and connective tissues. When these mechanical body parts (especially spinal joints) are restricted, they can be the cause of pain, stiffness, and swelling. This gradual stiffening up process is called spondylosis and associated with spinal “stiffness” ageing or trauma through work, accidents, and sport. Mobilisation helps to free the restriction and provide relief. Physiotherapy style “mobilisation” can be combined with soft tissue massage and exercises to provide pain relief.

Osteopathy treatment 

For over a hundred years Osteopathy has been an effective complementary therapy that focuses on musculoskeletal problems and the way it affects the functioning of the body.  Osteopaths trained to medical school level (excluding pharmacology) will undertake a five-year MSc. Degree.  From a treatment perspective being able to identify and diagnose an illness that may present as muscle and back pain is an essential part of their work. Brilliantly for problems to do with nerves, muscles and spinal pain. Osteopathy employs a wide range of styles and methods to ease inflammation improve range of movement and to relieve stiff bodies. In the UK osteopathy is considered complementary therapy. Sadly since the late 1990’s access to osteopathy on the NHS is limited due to cutbacks. Many Gps work alongside osteopaths and refer patients directly to them. You can visit an osteopath privately without a referral.

Osteopath manipulation of joints and the spine

Manipulation is a carefully controlled, precise movement of the joint using a short, rapid thrust motion. Similar to mobilisation but fantastic for releasing short and long-term spasms or mechanical compensations that don’t tend to free up on their own. Manipulation helps to restore mobility, reduce pain by improving blood flow and releasing endorphins (a chemical that your body produces that’s three times more powerful than morphine) and is particularly useful in problems of the neck, shoulder, ribs and thoracic spine.


Hatfield Practice Physiotherapy and Osteopathy, manipulation of the spine

Acupuncture treatment for a wide variety of disorders

Although best known for the control and management of pain, acupuncture does benefit a wide variety of disorders.  From complex emotional to complex systemic problems that cause fatigue and health problems. Acupuncture may help respiratory ailments such as sinusitis, colds, bronchitis, and asthma may respond well to acupuncture. Symptoms such as shingles, specific facial pain such as trigeminal neuralgia may often be helped and reduced through acupuncture. Neurological and musculoskeletal disorders including pain and weakness following stroke or accidents. Other conditions such as frozen shoulder or Tennis elbow, sciatica, and osteoarthritis are also treatable with acupuncture.  More remarkably acupuncture treats phantom limb pain using the other limb. 

Sports and deep soft tissue massage in Hatfield

Typically Sports massage therapists massage while osteopaths and ~~Physiotherapists manipulate and rehabilitate. Uniquely Osteopaths Physiotherapists at the Hatfield Practice also perform sports massage. Our therapists provide a variety of excellent Deep soft tissue treatments. This style of firm massage works quickly and effectively to aid injury recovery.  The firm approach works intensely into the muscle belly, into connective tissue and joints. Sports treatments tend to be slower in general as the deep tissue is resistant but sensitive. Techniques require the therapist’s concentration as they “listen” through fingertips. Each treatment is unique and initially may be muscle specific. Massage techniques may help resolve painful, stiff, and overuse conditions that have often taken a long time to develop.  Sports massage is a fantastic all-round body tonic.

The firmer style of sports massage may help the frozen shoulder, neck and shoulder pain, migraine, headaches, tendon injuries, low back pain, and sciatica. Sports massage is focused and in-depth it also can be vigorous if the tissue is stiff and fibrotic. Techniques include various flowing movements to loosen the muscles or open joints up to improve mobility. The firmer techniques help to break patterns of tension, chronic pain and inflammation-related pain such as tendon inflammation or low back pain. Treatment, in general, improves range of motion and may enhance sports performance.

Soft Tissue Massage|Deep Tissue Massage| Neuro-Muscular Massage

Massage is a brilliant  “hands-on” therapy predominantly used to relieve pain, tiredness, tension and stiffness. Massage helps to break down scar tissue, ease chronic postural tensions, relax muscle spasms and help to release dysfunctional movement patterns that lead to back and neck pain. Soft tissue massage will improve flexibility, help you to relax and enhance well being. Therapy has the added benefit of helping to improve blood flow to damaged tissues, and this helps speed repair by aiding your bodies cleansing and immune systems by removing toxins from the body. Visit our Massage Therapy page for more information.

Injury can affect your bones, muscles, joints or the connective tissues that hold them together – the tendons and ligaments. Most of the time the cause of your injury can be established and a recurrence prevented, so it needn’t stop your fitness programme for long. But it’s vital you don’t ignore injuries and simply ‘soldier on’ as this can make them much worse and leave you with a chronic condition that’s far harder to treat.

Ultrasound treatment

Ultrasound equipment uses high-frequency sound waves to penetrate deep into tissue, causing tissues to vibrate and creating a gentle deep heat. Ultrasound helps to relieve pain and inflammation, reduces muscle spasm and promotes the healing process by encouraging better blood flow to the affected area. It is great for scar tissue, ankle and shoulder injuries.

Tens provide natural pain relief

TENS stands for ‘Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation’ – a small battery operated unit provides electrical stimulation by way of two or more electrodes which are applied directly to the skin. The frequency of the impulses is controllable. The stimulus causes the body to release its natural pain relieving chemicals (endorphins) to provide relief and improved comfort when pain is ongoing.

Taping and K tape

In certain situations taping or strapping can be used to limit unwanted movement at a joint or to offload specific anatomical structures. Taping applied after examination and treatment will help in many ways. Tape stabilises and eases inflammation that may present as a weakness, trapped nerve or injury. Muscle retraining or taping for trapped nerves is probably one of the best pain relieving tools there are.Body movement can be affected by poor muscle control, in time repetitive habits can lead to ongoing discomfort or even pain. Muscles can become physiologically adapted “compensate” to the movement dysfunction. Sometimes referred to as muscle memory. Physiotherapists can employ treatment K tape and exercise strategies to “retrain” muscles to function correctly improving quality of movement.

Core stability and balance work

Core stability relates to the way in which the core musculature of the trunk (abdominal muscles, lower back, pelvis and diaphragm) controls posture and movement. Poor core stability can often be a factor in lower back pain and poor posture. Specific exercises such as ball work and physiotherapy balancing exercises can help to improve muscle control and quality of movement. Please visit our Physiotherapy page for more information. Core stability training can be really useful before and after pregnancy.

Personalised exercise programmes

To help facilitate recovery, physiotherapists will often prescribe specific rehabilitation exercises. These directed activities may help to improve posture, strengthen weak muscles and improve flexibility within restricted spinal and peripheral joints. Rehabilitation exercises are a fundamental part of physiotherapy practice. The physiotherapist may provide exercises designed for you. These exercises empower and enable patients to continue to strengthen or improve the mobility of an injured or weak body part long after treatments have finished.  The activities and will be specific to your particular condition and designed so that you can do these at home between treatments. Emphasis is always on exercise quality, not quantity.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely fine, sterile, single-use needles at specific points of the body. Usually, between 2 and six needles are applied but can be up to 15 or more, depending on the condition. Similar to the way TENS works, the insertion, and stimulation of the needles at specific trigger points, tricks the body into releasing its own pain relieving chemicals, such as endorphins. Visit our Acupuncture page for more information.


“Training is a science; the application is an art”