The Main Differences Between Osteopathy and Chiropractic Treatment


When you’re dealing with chronic pain or other similar illnesses, you might consider treatments that don’t include invasive measures or medication. That’s where osteopathy and chiropractic care might enter your list of options. While they are quite similar treatments, there are also some main differences between the two. The following explores some of those similarities and differences.

What Is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy takes the entire body into consideration with the goal of achieving overall wellbeing. Because everything in your body works together for either good or bad, it’s important every ligament, bone, muscle and tissue is working correctly so you can achieve the good. Osteopathy contains the belief that every element inside the human body is unified. When an osteopath manipulates the body, complete self-healing is sought and often achieved.

An osteopath uses methods that include Myofascial release, massage and palpation. Both visceral osteopathy and cranial osteopathy work together, focusing on the body and mind for overall wellness. Although the movements and manipulations are firm, they are gentle enough for the treatment of children and babies.

What Is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care also takes the whole body into consideration, but there is more of a focus on the spine, nervous system and skeletal system. Small adjustments can have large, lasting effects for the patient, often treating issues the patient wasn’t aware of until it was relieved. Each vertebra can move in a variety of different directions, and chiropractors have the knowledge it requires to move each one in the right direction.

A chiropractor uses methods to manually manipulate the body with quick, firm arm thrusts. They also use small tools on occasion, depending on the severity of subluxation and what the patient is able to handle. Chiropractic treatment is also gentle enough for children and babies.

What Are the Main Differences?

As you can see, osteopathy and chiropractic care are quite similar, but the following are some main differences.

  • Range of treatment – Many chiropractors solely treat the spine, while osteopaths branch out and treat a wider range of the body.
  • Focus of treatment – Chiropractors are more focused on the joints and making sure they are aligned. Osteopaths focus on more than just spinal and joint adjustments.
  • Type of assessment – Osteopaths generally use palpation as their sole method of assessing a patient, while chiropractors ensure a full assessment with MRI scans and x-rays if they are needed.

Contacting a Chiropractor Today

Many chiropractors and osteopaths work hand in hand for the better health of the patient. If you are ready to get started with treatment, contact a chiropractor, like from Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic, today.