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Osteopaths vs Chiropractors: Whats the difference?

Whats the difference?

Whats the difference between Osteopaths and Chiropractors? Is a question that we hear asked all the time. We understand why patients and the public ask that question, its a relevant question. We are osteopaths due to the principles and philosophies set out by previous osteopaths underpinning the teaching of the founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still.

But, lets face it, the body hasn’t evolved much in a few thousand years. So, all osteopaths, chiropractors and physios learn the same anatomy, physiology and medicine but with our own unique philosophy and treatment applications.

What the governing councils say:

General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)

Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.

To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.

General Chiropractic Council (GCC)

Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints and muscles), and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health.  There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation.

Chiropractors have a specialist interest in neck and back pain but when they assess their patient they take their entire physical, emotional and social wellbeing into account.

Final thought.

There are Osteopaths that treat like Chiropractors and Chiropractors that treat like Osteopaths. The philosophies and disciplines seem to have more in common than have differences. The treatment you receive will have bias, but this will usually come from the past experience of the practitioner rather than the discipline itself.

What ever your thoughts, you need to know that it is in everyones best interest to get you well. In our opinion, people should go out and find the physical therapist they feel happy and secure with. If you feel that way, then your chances of recovery are greater and your experience will be enhanced.