Osteopath vs Chiropractor
We’re often asked about the differences between an osteopath and a chiropractor.
Osteopathy was founded in the 1870s. It focuses on the relationship between the musculoskeletal system and overall health. Osteopathic treatment is guided by a few fundamental principles:
- The body is a unit – everything in the body is connected and we look at the whole body to understand why your injury occurred and how to prevent it in the future.
- Structure governs function – each part of the body is designed to perform a specific role and the angles and orientation of the structures of the body make it function in the best way possible.
- The body has self-regulatory mechanisms – the body has the ability to heal itself and as osteopaths, we assist in this process by helping the body to move better, increase the blood supply to the desired parts and give exercises that can assist the recovery
Chiropractic care was founded in 1895. Chiropractors focus on biomechanics and believe the structure of the spine and how well it is working affects the musculoskeletal and neurological system. Chiropractors treat pain by manipulating the spine. They make “adjustments” to put the spine back into alignment. They believe that if the spine is in proper alignment, the body will be able to heal itself.
Differences between osteopaths and chiropractors
Osteopaths look at the whole body and focus on its structure and function. Chiropractors mainly focus on the alignment of the spine and believe they can relieve pain by preventing pinched nerves or any other compromise of the nervous system.
Osteopaths tend to treat a broader range of disorders, while most chiropractors focus on muscle and joint pain.
Chiropractors often make use of tests such as x-rays and MRI scans. Some even have x-ray machines in their office. Osteopaths rely more on their own physical examination and generally refer patients to a hospital if they feel more diagnostic procedures are required.
Osteopaths usually use a greater variety of techniques to manipulate the body’s healing systems. They may do more muscle and soft tissue work or manipulate other joints in the body. Chiropractors mainly focus on adjustments to the vertebrae of the spine.
Chiropractic visits tend to be shorter and they focus on getting the patient adjusted and then back out the door. Osteopaths may spend more time talking to their patient since they have a broader approach.
Making a Decision – osteopath vs chiropractor
Deciding to see an osteopath or a chiropractor is a personal choice. You need to think about what problem you are hoping to address and any personal treatment preferences then decide which type of practitioner might best treat it. In summary, what we say to our patients is: find a therapist that works for you.
There are some great chiros out there and some great osteopaths and at Pimlico Osteopathy we believe we are great osteopaths and the 5-star testimonials we receive from our patients and on Google Reviews and Facebook back this up. We are told we have a warm, friendly and professional environment to help our patients in and we look forward to welcoming you here when you need our help.
Osteopath vs physio – find out more about the differences between osteopathy and physiotherapy