Which Is Better – A Chiropractor or Osteopath

What Is The Difference?

They key similarity between the two is that both disciplines view the body as one, with each area inter-connected and having an impact on the other. Both practices were founded in the late 19th Century. Osteopathy focuses primarily on blood circulation and bone structures, while chiropractors focus on the spine.


Philosophy And Practice

Osteopathic assessment carefully considers the blood flow of patients at all times. While also believing that joints and bones are key parts of the treatment and practice, osteopaths do not work directly on bones, merely using them and joints as levers to improve motion and mobility of the musculoskeletal body system. Osteopathic treatment looks to aid the body’s self-recovery patterns through these methods.

Chiropractic methods of treatment differ from osteopathy. While adhering roughly to the same set of principles and beliefs, chiropractors focus on the spinal column as the central area for dealing with patients’ pain and discomfort. Spinal vertebrae can become displaced and unaligned, which is the trigger for pain and discomfort throughout the body.

Both osteopaths and chiropractors look to promote self-healing throughout the body by dealing with key bodily functions and systems. By focusing on certain areas they can impact on the whole body thus fulfilling their philosophy and beliefs around the body being inter-connected. These philosophies and treatment practices mean that both are an effective source of treatment for a number of conditions, not just those related to the back, bones and joints.

Impact On Patients: Which Is Best

The accurate answer is simply that it differs depending on the patient. Osteopathy is seen more as an alternative treatment, whereas chiropractic treatment is nearer to traditional medical and clinical methods.

Chiropractic Care for your back pain

Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatments hold an advantage over osteopathy as they tend to be gentler and shorter, as they only focus purely on the spinal area. Treatments can also be more focused and accurate as they rely on medical evidence such as scans and x-rays in order to be as focused as possible on the problem. While osteopathy can definitely be effective, it is not something which is necessary for everyone, particularly older patients whose bodies may not be able to withstand the at times vigorous force with which osteopaths carry out their practice.

In summary, there are no comparative studies to suggest that either form of treatment is better than the other. It is important to be aware of the differences before deciding which option to go for. If possible, it is a good option for ask for the opinions of other people who have consulted with physical pain therapists in the past. Try to understand what kind of experience you can expect for each type of treatment, and chose a practitioners with the best references.

The Active Health Clinic is a Chiropractor Bath, UK group of health care professionals who specialise in solving your aches and pains.

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4 Responses to Which Is Better – A Chiropractor or Osteopath

  1. Angela Stevenson says:

    I would like to know more about who the author is and where he practises.
    Thank you

  2. theactivehealthclinic.com have never knowingly been associated with a Stuart Green.

    We find this article to be incorrect in some of its description of Chiropractic care, as Chiropractors specialise in the conservative management of all the joints of the body and do not limit their care to just that of the spine as this article suggests. We are a team of Chiropractors and Physiotherapists and therefore feel able to comment on the scope of Chiropractic care and its treatment techniques. With regards the author’s opinion of Osteopathy or its portrayal of philosophy and practice, we feel unqualified to comment.

    I would like to personally say that both Chiropractors and Osteopaths have helped a great many people recover from pains arising from poor functioning of their joints. As both Chiropractors and Osteopaths are evidence based professions and specialise in helping patients with similar complaints, there is a large cross-over of technique and in their management of common conditions. Therefore, it would be my suggestion that potential patients should not seek to commit to only one profession in search of relief, but rather to judge who would be most likely to help them based on a professional’s level of qualification, accreditation and clinical ability. This could be appraised in many ways but I am sure their local Chiropractor or Osteopath would be happy to discuss on the phone, prior to their appointment, how their field of care could or could not potentially help.

    Both Chiropractors and Osteopaths have a lot to offer patients with nerve, muscle or joint pain. For more information please contact your local Chiropractor or Osteopath.

    Robin Marshall BSc MSc DC
    Director of Active Health.

    • Jack Woo says:

      Hi Robin

      Thank you for your clarification and valuable comment.
      We hope you will continue to visit this site and even contribute guest articles.

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