What is the Difference Between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath?

Oct 1, 2021

Experiencing pain in your back, neck, or knee, and not sure who to turn to for treatment?

Have you looked into chiropractors and came across osteopaths and ended up more lost than when you started? You’d be forgiven for thinking a chiropractor and osteopath are just different words for the same thing. While there are some similarities between the two, there are some key differences as well.

This blog will explore the differences and similarities between chiropractic and osteopathy. If you are unsure which treatment would be most suitable for you, please contact our friendly and helpful team at Atlas Chiropractic Body Clinic.

Your Guide to Chiropractic

Chiropractic treatment was started by Daniel David Palmer in 1895. His aim was to use manual therapy to practice what is known as spinal manipulation. Chiropractors help with painful joints by reducing inflammation and improving nerve function.

Chiropractors generally work on the spinal column or other misaligned joints. They use their hands to manipulate joints by applying controlled and sudden pressure to the joint, which often results in a ‘click’ or ‘pop’ noise as the gasses are released. These treatments are aimed at pain relief and injury recovery.

While they are interested in how a person’s body works overall, the majority of treatment is focused on the spinal and muscular systems. Chiropractic treatment addresses injuries and chronic conditions. Whether it’s general tightness and tension, neck pain, headaches, a pinched nerve, a bulging disc, chronic back pain, scoliosis, or a spinal condition, a chiropractor will assess your unique situation and tailor a treatment for you.

Chiropractic treatment has a wide range of benefits, ranging from assisting with pain to lowering blood pressure and improving neurological conditions.

A study from the Human Journal of Hypertension showed that a chiropractic adjustment can reduce high blood pressure for up to 6 months after treatment. Additionally, a chiropractor can assist inreducing inflammation which in turn relieves muscle tension and joint pain, and can improve your daily functioning.

What About Osteopathy?

Osteopathy was founded in 1872 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still and recognises the link between your body’s structure and the way it functions. Its core belief is that the rest of the body must adapt if any one part of the body is restricted by pain.

Osteopaths examine the patient’s entire body and employ a host of techniques to improve pain and mobility. They may use stretching, gentle joint manipulation, trigger point pressure, myofascial release, mobilisation techniques, or a range of other treatments to help reduce pain. Osteopaths aim to get to the root cause of your problems.

They take a holistic approach, taking the entire body into account before focusing on the problem area.

Osteopathy can treat a range of disorders including general aches and pains, headaches, sports injuries, arthritic pain, and sciatica. Treatment at an osteo assists in reducing pain and muscle tension and tightness, but also has other benefits as well.

These include improved body function and flexibility, reduction in stress levels, an increase in energy, and improved

The Similarities Between Osteopathy and Chiropractic

Chiropractors and osteopaths both adopt a holistic approach to treatment and support the body’s systems to function effectively. For chiropractors, this is all about alignment.

They strive to ensure your spine and nervous system is correctly aligned. Meanwhile, osteopaths focus on biomechanics and how the musculoskeletal system interacts with other parts of the body.

Chiropractors and osteopaths are both regulated health professionals in Australia, and must be qualified and registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to practise.

The Differences Between an Osteo and a Chiro

The main difference between osteopathy and chiropractic is the method of treatment. While chiropractors use methods to quickly move the body to improve pain and function, osteopaths use slower and more repetitive movements.

Chiropractors use spinal manipulation, mobilisation and stretching while osteopaths also incorporate alternative treatments like dry needling, cupping therapy, and massage.

Chiropractors generally assist with issues involving the nervous system, whereas osteopaths focus on the musculoskeletal system and the structure of the whole body.

Book an Appointment for Quality Chiropractic Care

If you’re suffering with aches and pains, visit a health practitioner for treatment and relief. At Atlas Chiropractic, we offer quality chiro care for the whole family.

Click the link below to book your appointment – new patients are always welcome. And if you’d like to find out more and further discuss your options, please give us a call on (03) 7035 0888.