All UK Osteopaths have completed a 4 year degree with rigorous clinical training after-which they have to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GosC). 30 hours of continued professional development is required from us to enable us to remain on the register.
As with Osteopathy, physiotherapy is a degree-based healthcare profession which focuses on reducing pain by restoring movement and function predominantly through exercise rehabilitation. A lot of time is spent on exercise prescription and explanation as a means to empower the patient to participate in and achieve their own recovery. There is usually little soft tissue massage or hands on manual therapy applied by NHS physiotherapists due to time constraints while private physiotherapists often treat in a similar way to Osteopaths and, more recently, a number of them also apply dry needling and have taken short courses to learn manipulation of the spine and other joints.
Physiotherapists practising in the UK must be regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and complete CPD hours annually.
Again, as with Osteopathy, Chiropractic is a healthcare profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. There is an emphasis on manual techniques including joint adjustment and/or manipulation with a typical focus on subluxations (misalignments of the spine). Chiropractics also study for 4 years, are regulated (by the General Chiropractic Council) and have to complete CPD hours each year. Chiropractors are working more and more like Osteopaths by including soft-tissue massage and other treatments other than manipulation.
If you're in need of treatment, it's really all about finding a practitioner and therapy which suits you best. There are good and bad practitioners in all three of these professions so it's about having a chat with them, looking online and ensuring that they are part of recognised regulatory body, getting recommendations from friends and family and, otherwise, going for an initial consultation.