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Chiropractor and Osteopath Differences and Similarities

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A chiropractor and an osteopath are similar in some ways and different in other ways. These two professions tend to stir up debates. A chiropractor is generally more widely known than an osteopath. In fact, some people may not even know what an osteopath is. The professionals here at A Family Chiropractic Clinic in Denton, Texas want to help clarify the differences for you.

After reading through the similarities and differences between the two professions, you may be able to come to a decision about who will be able to assist you best.

Philosophy and Objectives of a Chiropractor and an Osteopath

Both a chiropractor and an osteopath understand the importance of a healthy spine. An osteopath is generally more conservative when it comes to marketing and promoting their business. A chiropractor is usually more sought after than an osteopath because they are more widely known. Without the marketing and promoting, many people don’t understand what sets an osteopath apart from a chiropractor and vice versa.

Both chiropractors and osteopaths aim to reduce and remove aches and pain associated with the spine. The difference between the two begins to become noticeable in the treatment of functional disorders. For example, an osteopath will often treat other disorders such as respiratory or digestive disorders. Occasionally you’ll find a chiropractor that will also treat these disorders; however they tend to be few and far between. Chiropractors who do treat additional disorders tend to refer to themselves as therapeutic chiropractors. Whereas a straight chiropractor tends to focus primarily on aches and pains related to the spine.

Treatment and Diagnosis Differences

The difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor becomes more distinguished when we start to examine the differences in diagnosis techniques and treatments. In the US, osteopaths are trained in surgery and viewed as primary care physicians. They can see and treat patients as a typical doctor. A chiropractor offers a more specialized level of care by focusing primarily on the health and adjustment of the spine. A chiropractor can treat other problems. However, these issues are usually directly or indirectly related to the alignment of the spine.

To diagnose different problems, both chiropractors and osteopaths perform a physical examination. They use visual inspection and palpation to help diagnose the issue. A chiropractor will also use an x-ray to aid in diagnosis. An osteopath typically won’t use an x-ray unless it seems medically necessary.

Treatment techniques between the two professions also vary. A chiropractor tends to use a broader range of spine manipulation techniques. An osteopath uses a different set of techniques including pressure, stretching, and mobilization. While an osteopath can still manipulate the spine, their adjustments tend to be more subtle and gentle. A chiropractor won’t typically use these mild techniques.

The duration and frequency of treatments for both chiropractors and osteopaths vary from practice to practice. However, an osteopath will generally spend more time with each patient than a chiropractor. While a chiropractor may spend less time with each patient, they have a tendency to see their patients more frequently. Chiropractors also tend to see more patients than osteopaths.

Other Chiropractor and Osteopath Differences

There are also other differences between chiropractors and osteopaths, though they may be less consequential. These differences may be seen in the ways that they set up their offices or how they dress. However these factors do not generally impact their ability to provide treatment. Their view on what causes the pain and suffering in their patients does vary slightly as well. A chiropractor generally believes that the pain is due to nerve interference. An osteopath believes pain and disease are due to a lack of blood flow. In addition to performing surgery, an osteopath typically has the authority to prescribe medications. Most chiropractors do not prescribe medications, though they may recommend supplements or herbal remedies.

When it comes to determining which profession you should seek treatment from there are a few things that you should consider. Chiropractors usually treat problems with your spine such as sciatica, back pain, muscle strains, and headaches. Osteopaths usually treat problems involving infections, systemic diseases, or anything that requires medication. If your condition is going to require aggressive treatment such as surgery, than an osteopath is a better choice.

Both chiropractors and osteopaths have benefits to their philosophy, treatment options, and techniques. If you are unsure which to choose, then you can speak to someone in each field. This will allow you to get an idea of which profession is better suited to help your specific situation. Speaking with friends and family about who they prefer and their experiences can also help you make a decision. You can also visit their business websites and read online reviews for more information about each practice.

If you have any questions about the differences between an osteopath and a chiropractor, please contact A Family Chiropractic Clinic in Denton, Texas at (940) 566-0000.