osteopath helping man's back pain

What’s the Difference Between Osteopathy and Chiropractic?

When suffering from back, joint, ligament or neck pain, it can be difficult to know which specialist is best placed to meet your needs. Should you see an osteopath or a chiropractor? What even are the differences between the two?

The reality is that while both disciplines share much in common, they do differentiate from each other in subtle but important ways. Here’s a rundown of exactly what unites the two practices – and what sets them apart.

Similarities between osteopathy and chiropractic

  • The primary goal of both disciplines is pain relief
  • Both share a similar philosophy in that they look for alternative methods of treating this pain, instead of surgery or medication
  • Both conduct observational and tactile diagnoses to find the root of the problem
  • Both manipulate the blood supply and nervous system in order to treat not only bodily pain, but also the symptoms of many other conditions, including circulatory complications, migraines and more

Differences between osteopathy and chiropractic

  • Chiropractors concentrate largely (but not exclusively) on the spinal column, preventing damage of the nervous system and associated pain by achieving correct alignment
  • Osteopaths attempt to improve the overall function, comfort and performance of the body by taking a more holistic approach, which generally means they treat less concentrated areas to achieve pain relief
  • Chiropractors are more likely to qualify diagnoses via the use of qualitative procedures, such as blood tests, urine tests, MRI scans and X-rays – though only when necessary
  • Chiropractors specialise in manipulating the vertebrae in the spinal column, while osteopaths include more muscle and tissue massaging (although chiropractors do employ these methods as well)
  • Chiropractors may utilise shorter but more frequent appointments, whereas osteopaths may practice longer sessions that have longer spacing in between the two

Which should you choose to treat your pain?

The simple answer is that both chiropractors and osteopaths are fully-trained and fully-qualified specialists in many different kinds of joint and muscular injuries and complaints. It’s therefore important to find out which kind of treatment you feel works best for you, and then source a trustworthy, competent professional in that field. Above all, you should find someone who values your welfare, listens to your needs and devises an appropriate method of treatment accordingly.

At CW Chiropractic, we are members of the British Chiropractic Association and all of our staff have the experience and training to alleviate all kinds of back, neck, joint and muscle pain. We prioritise customer satisfaction above all else and are dedicated to delivering excellent service, quality of treatment and efficiency with each and every patient.

To find out more about how we can help, drop by our Canary Wharf practice or get in touch with us today.

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