The difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor is a very commonly asked question and one that is also not easy to answer because there is so much overlap between the two professions.
Both osteopaths and chiropractors are Primary Healthcare Practitioners, meaning that you don’t need a doctor’s referral to be seen by either. It also means that practitioners of both professions are qualified to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions.
Osteopaths and Chiropractors both use joint manipulations (the techniques where you hear a click) on joints all over the body although the techniques may vary slightly. But this is where the similarities seem to finish. More often than not chiropractors only manipulate joints, whereas osteopaths massage and stretch muscles, mobilise joints, work on the visceral systems and other techniques like acupuncture, taping and nutrition if they have done further study in those things.
Principally the main difference of treatment appoach is in the philosophy.
Osteopaths believe that a problem could have developed as a result of a disfunction elsewhere in the body, whereas chiropractors belive that problems arise as a result of a disfunction in the spine.
Nowadays it can be difficult to tell whether a practitioner is an osteopath or a chiropractor based on observation of treatments alone as some osteopaths may treat like traditional chiropractors, purely manipulating the spine, and some chiropractors may treat more like osteopaths, including more soft tissue techniques.
In general terms, chiropractors use a lot more equipment such as X-Rays and Spinal Mouse in their consultations to get an idea of the problem but this is all done with clothes on, whereas osteopaths tend not to use equipment but instead look at their patients in a state of undress (underwear always stays on) so that they can see areas of disfunction.
This allows osteopaths to not only see dysfunction but also other important factors such as scars, changes in skin colour or texture and even looking for things that you can’t see yourself like unhealthy appearing moles for example.
All of our osteopaths here in North Finchley are extremely competent clinically and are knowledgeable about other aspects of your health and fitness so feel free to ask them any questions you may have.
If you would like to find out more or book an appointment then call us today on 0203 356 7060 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.