How an Osteopath and Chiropractor Differ

The Difference Between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor

For sufferers of back pain, a chiropractor or osteopath is often recommended. If you aren’t sure about the difference, you aren’t alone. The two professions do have a lot of similarities. 

Both believe that if your spine is healthy, it can help with your overall health. However, there are also a couple of distinct differences to be aware of.

While osteopaths and chiropractors provide excellent care, the differences between the two may affect your decision.

What Does a Chiropractor Do?

The foundation of chiropractic care is that the spine and its function affect your musculoskeletal system and your neurological system. A chiropractor will use sudden, controlled force to your spine to manipulate it and to bring it back into alignment. If your spine is aligned, chiropractors believe that your body can heal. A chiropractor cannot prescribe medication.

What Does an Osteopath Do?

An osteopath focuses on the relationship between musculoskeletal health and how it affects your overall health. The foundation of osteopathic care is that all of your body systems are connected and dependent on one another. Osteopaths can perform spinal adjustments, but may also focus on other muscle groups and other joints. They treat a wider array of conditions. In the United States, osteopaths can prescribe medicine.

Who Should You see?

The decision is ultimately up to you. Chiropractors focus mainly on neck and back pain. They will do MRI scans and x-rays, if necessary to determine what is wrong with you. Whereas an osteopath may only perform a physical examination.

A chiropractor focuses on the fact that you may have pinched nerves or other issues with the nervous system. If you can fix those issues, then you can relieve the pain. An osteopath, on the other hand, will look at your entire body. You may have a longer visit with an osteopath, but he or she will have a broader approach.

If you are only having back issues, it is more likely that a chiropractor can help you. However, if you are having trouble with many different joints or muscle tissue, then an osteopath could be beneficial.

When you have chronic back pain, you may need a chiropractic adjustment. An adjustment can realign your spine and cause your pain to ease. It is a quicker appointment and less invasive. To find out if a chiropractor can help with your neck or back pain, discuss your pain with a chiropractor from Mid Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic to see if you will need to set up an examination with a chiropractor.