• Dr. Monica Ngo

Osteopath vs Chiropractic

Updated: Jan 27

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Osteopath vs Chiropractic

If you're like most people, you've heard of chiropractors and osteopaths, and you may now be in a situation where one or the other could help you. However, determine which is the better option or whether there is a distinction between the two professions. While they are similar in many ways, they are not identical; otherwise, there would be no need for two titles and two different practices.


Chiropractors and osteopaths, on the other hand, are not the same. Many patients who have seen both therapists agree that chiropractors and osteopaths can practice in the same way.


The main distinction between chiropractic care and osteopathy is that chiropractors are primarily concerned with the joints and spine. Osteopaths are more concerned with the entire body and take a more holistic approach. As a result, an osteopath may not focus solely on the musculoskeletal system or symptoms. They may also aid in treating other systemic issues within the body, such as respiratory, cardiovascular, and digestive issues. While these issues may not appear to be related to the joints and spine, a pinched nerve in the neck can mimic symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Similarly, some people may find it difficult to breathe because their bodies are tight and their muscles are stiff, particularly those around the spine and back.


In most cases, chiropractors use adjustments to restore the functionality and position of the joint. Typically, a specific movement or motion 'forces' the body back into place. Osteopaths may use adjustments if they believe it is necessary, but they take a broader approach and treat more significant areas of the body.


What Exactly Is Osteopathy? What Are the Duties of Osteopaths?


Osteopathy is a form of complementary medicine that focuses on myofascial release, manual adjustments, and other physical manipulations of the bones and muscle tissue.


What exactly is chiropractic? Chiropractors: What Do They Do?


Chiropractors typically use spinal adjustments to restore joint functionality and to support the nervous system as a whole. They can assist you in maintaining your optimal health without the use of surgery or drugs.


Primary Distinctions Between Chiropractors and Osteopaths

A chiropractor is a primary care physician who specializes in spinal health and well-being. They specialize in the conservative treatment of a wide range of spine-related issues and disorders. Most chiropractors only perform manual adjustments, but some also provide lifestyle counselling, fitness coaching, nutritional advice, and soft-tissue therapy.


Although most people believe chiropractors only treat neck and back pain, this is not the case. Chiropractors treat headaches and migraines, repetitive injuries, lower back pain, sciatica issues, arthritis pain, sports injuries, neck pain, and car accidents.


What Are the Primary Distinctions Between Chiropractors and Osteopaths?


The majority of people are unaware that chiropractic therapy is derived from osteopathy. Dr Andrew Taylor Still invented osteopathy in 1872, and Daniel David Palmer, a student of Dr Still, developed chiropractic therapy in 1895. As a result, there are numerous parallels between the two professions. However, there are subtle differences between these two techniques so that one may be more appropriate for your condition than the other.


The primary distinction between chiropractors and osteopaths is that, whereas chiropractors are primarily concerned with the joints and spine, osteopaths are also worried about the entire body and how it functions and acts as a whole. Osteopaths work holistically, which means they consider all of the factors that may be causing your pain or pinched nerves.


Chiropractors and Osteopaths Provide Treatments


Depending on the chiropractor, chiropractic therapies can vary. They primarily treat back and neck pain with spinal manipulation (adjustments). However, before diagnosing and treating you, they evaluate your neurological and physical issues. Spinal traction, therapeutic stretching and exercise, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, manual soft-tissue therapies, diet/nutritional counselling, ultrasound, and assistance with lifestyle changes are all common treatments.


How to Select a Chiropractor or Osteopath


The steps for selecting a chiropractor or an osteopath are similar. What you look for, however, will vary depending on your current needs.


It is critical to recognize that a chiropractor must be registered with the General Chiropractor Council. To do so, the individual must have a chiropractic degree. They must be free of any health issues that might prevent them from providing safe treatment to you, have adequate indemnity insurance, and be up to date on their skills and knowledge.


Because the world of chiropractic is constantly changing and evolving, chiropractors require continuing education. New techniques are frequently introduced, and you want to ensure that you are receiving the best care possible using the most recent advancements.


Choosing an osteopath is comparable to selecting a chiropractor. For one thing, the title "osteopath" is legally protected. As a result, someone must go through the proper training and standards before they can be called that. All osteopaths must be registered, which has a set of standards and rules that must be followed. Among the requirements are a Master's degree in osteopathic medicine, ongoing skill development, and professional standards. By searching the register, you can quickly determine whether an osteopath has the right to use that title.


Each osteopath is likely to have a specialty or philosophy. They're a diverse group with a wide range of skill sets and technique styles. The most significant distinction between osteopaths is most likely the structural or cranial aspect. Structural osteopaths treat complaints with physical techniques such as stretching muscles, changing movement patterns, and mobilizing joints. Cranial osteopathy is gentler and uses touch to assess how subtle changes affect the entire body. While most osteopaths use the 'structural' approach, some use a combination of the two.


Whether you work with a chiropractor or an osteopath, you may want to get referrals from friends and family. Getting recommendations is much easier.



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