vs. Chiropractic

Osteopathy vs. Chiropractic

Many people are confused abut the differences between Osteopathy and Chiropractic. While their approaches may seem similar on a superficial level, when you look closely at a DO and a DC, they are as different as night and day.

Osteopath Chiropractor
Training 4 years of medical school learning medicine, surgery, and hands-on manipulation followed by 1-3 years of residency. 4 years of chiropractic school learning anatomy, nutrition, and manipulation.
Scope of practice Full medical practice, including all forms of medicine and surgery:Authorizing the use of any and all methods in the treatment of diseases, injuries, deformities or other physical or mental conditions of human beings. Limited: A duly licensed chiropractor may manipulate and adjust the spinal column and other joints of the human body and in the process thereof a chiropractor may manipulate the muscle and connective tissue related thereto.
Focus Osteopathic treatment focuses on restoring functional movement to any part of the body, including the limbs and head, in order to allow the natural process of healing to take place more effectively. Chiropractic treatment focuses on restoring alignment of the spine to improve nerve flow out of the spine.
Mode of treatment Many different techniques. Some are entle, slow manipulation aimed at releasing the soft tissues, ligaments, muscles, and fascia (connective tissues) moving away from restrictions. Others are more direct, aimed at the muscles or tissues surrounding the joints, or thrusting type of movements. Fast, thrusting movements aimed at moving spinal segments (vertebrae) through their restrictions.

As you can see, osteopaths and chiropractors are very different in their training, scope of practice, and approach to treatment. The quick, thrusting maneuvers favored by chiropractors may give rapid relief, but that relief is often short lived. This necessitates a prolonged, prescribed course of treatment which may or may not be required. An osteopathic course of treatment, is determined by the needs of the body. Some people are improved in 2-3 treatments, while those with chronic or severe injuries may require months of treatment. The patient is re-evaluated at each visit, and the state of the body is determined, as well as the response to the last treatment.

I hope that this has been a helpful overview of the differences between an osteopath and a chiropractor. For more information visit the American Academy of Osteopathy or the Cranial Academy.


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