It’s hard for an average person suffering from back pain, knee pain, or shoulder pain to spot the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor. Both seem like doing the same job and providing the same services as both deal with muscle pain. However, there is a difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath, and you should know about it.

Osteopaths and chiropractors may seem similar at first, but these healthcare experts take different treatment approaches. Before visiting a healthcare professional for any musculoskeletal treatment, it’s better to know the contrast between them. Understanding their areas of expertise will surely help you choose the right person to deal with your problems. Read on to know about the actual differences between osteopaths and chiropractors.

What is a Chiropractor? 

A chiropractic physician, also known as the doctor of chiropractic (DC), diagnoses and treats biomechanical disorders in the musculoskeletal system. The main area of concern for a chiropractor is the spine and the nervous system, and they can effectively treat skeletal issues in patients of all ages.

What does a Chiropractor Treat?

A chiropractor can generally diagnose and treat all musculoskeletal problems. They can expertly deal with spinal nerve pain and disorders. They usually perform a physical or neurological examination of the patients depending on the symptoms. Chiropractors may also use X-rays and CT scan reports to diagnose and treat spinal and neurological problems. Also, a chiropractor may alter the spinal alignment for the body to heal itself.

What is an Osteopath?

Osteopathy refers to a kind of alternative medicine that deals with the physical manipulation of the body’s muscles and bones. An osteopath, also known as the doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO), is a licensed health care physician who works to improve a person’s overall wellness. Unlike chiropractors, osteopaths work to diagnose, treat and prevent skeletal problems. They usually heal a person using manual medicine that includes stretching, moving, and massaging techniques.

What does an Osteopath Treat?

Osteopaths can expertly diagnose, treat and prevent back pain, repetitive strain injuries, postural problems, and pregnancy changes. They can also deal with issues such as jaw dysfunction, plagiocephaly, arthritis, and work strains. 

Difference Between Osteopaths and Chiropractors

Here are some main differences between Chiropractors and Osteopaths. This comparison will help you decide whether you should visit an osteopath or a chiropractor.

  1. Osteopaths are generally more focused on treating joint and muscle pain. They also pay attention to the adjustment of these joints with the spine or the vertebra of the person under consideration. On the other hand, chiropractors pay more attention to pinched nerves and issues in the alignment of the spine.
  2. Osteopaths adopt a holistic approach and treat the body as a whole. They work to improve the body’s overall healing system and treat circulatory and digestive disorders as well. However, this is not the perspective of chiropractors.
  3. Osteopaths use manual treatments to assess the cause of a disorder. However, a chiropractor uses imaging techniques like MRI scans or X-rays to diagnose and treat spinal problems.
  4. A chiropractor will use spinal adjustments for optimal nerve transition, whereas an osteopath can use different treatment methods like medicines, body adjustments, and injections.
  5. As a chiropractor just focuses on spinal adjustments for treatment, their session is relatively short. On the other hand, an osteopathic session will be extended because an osteopath adopts a holistic approach and requires more time to understand and address the patient’s concerns.
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Similarities between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor

The majority of people want to know about the difference between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath because they have some similarities that confuse people. Some of these similarities include:

  1. Muscle manipulation, joint manipulation, and soft tissue massage are some techniques that are practiced by both.
  2. These health experts optimize the body’s nervous and circulatory system to promote blood flow and well-being.
  3. Both Chiropractors and Osteopaths can help you with other health-related issues that aren’t specific symptoms of some ailment. 
  4. Both types of health experts can treat musculoskeletal issues to some extent.

Final Verdict

Deciding whether to visit a chiropractor or osteopath is a personal choice. After reading the article, you now know the difference between them. You just have to make a personal diagnosis of your condition according to what services are provided by an osteopath and a chiropractor. It will help you in deciding who can best treat your condition.

The best way to self-diagnose a health problem is to ask yourself a few questions, such as how complicated is your situation? Do you have pain in your muscles or joints? The origin of the pain is the lower back or the middle portion? In which positions are you experiencing severe pain? Answers to these questions will help you choose the right physician.

If you are still unsure about your problem, please visit Euromed® Clinic Centre Dubai or fill in the online form to book an appointment. Our certified physicians and osteopaths are here to assist you in your problems.