Chiropractors vs Osteopaths: What Is the Difference?

Chiropractors vs Osteopaths

Often people may use osteopathy and chiropractic care in the same sentence. The two have very similar methods and treat a variety of similar disorders. What you may not understand is the difference between osteopaths and chiropractors. Here is everything you need to know about the differences between the two.

Osteopathy Defined

Osteopathy is a treatment that focuses on the idea that bones, muscles, connective tissues and ligaments have to work together for you to achieve general wellbeing. Osteopathy uses manual treatment. The practitioner will massage and strengthen the body to increase mobility and to relieve and muscle tension.

Chiropractic Care Defined

Chiropractic treatment focuses on the relationship between the skeleton, nerves, and muscles. This treatment focuses on the spine and often treats lower back and neck pain. The basic idea behind chiropractic care is that joint misalignment causes back pain.

How the Approaches Differ

Chiropractors have a joint-specific approach. Joints that are locked have to be freed. Chiropractors use manipulation to move said joint and to restore mobility. After, the patient has increased flexibility and reduced pain.

Osteopaths, on the other hand, look at the muscles. They investigate how muscles affect mobility. If they can help restore muscle function, then they can improve joint mobility. This will not only reduce pain but also increase a patient’s flexibility.

In terms of diagnostics, chiropractors will utilize more equipment. For instance, they may request x-rays and MRI scans. These scans provide chiropractors with a clear outlook of the spine before he or she begins to work. Osteopaths, on the other hand, are more likely to use manual methods. For instance, an osteopath may use palpation. During palpation, an osteopath feels with his or her fingers during the examination. He or she will use his fingers or hands to test the tenderness of the body part.

Which to Choose

Your decision between an osteopath and a chiropractor will likely be a personal one. Your decision depends on your condition and what you hope to accomplish after your visit. If your problems are tied mostly to your spine, then a chiropractic visit may be your best option. Likewise, osteopaths deal more with the entire body.

When it comes to osteopathic care and chiropractic care, there are a lot of similarities. Both can treat similar conditions. The main difference is between which addresses the entire body and which addresses misalignments of the spine. If you’re unsure of your treatment options, consult with a chiropractor, like a chiropractor in Silver Spring, MD, today.

Thank you to the experts at AmeriWell Clinics for their input into chiropractic care.