It would be unfair to group all Osteopaths and Chiropractors together. If you're considering seeing either it is best to remember that not all Chiropractors and Osteopaths are the same with everyone having their own treatment 'style'. Whoever you see ensure they are registered with either the General Osteopathic or Chiropractic Council.
- Osteopaths assess and treat the body as a whole to improve the function of different structures elsewhere.
- Osteopaths treat a broader range of functional problems such as breathing and digestive system disorders.
- Osteopaths tend to use a greater variety of techniques to influence the body’s own innate healing system such as muscle and soft tissue work, joint articulation and manipulation, whereas chiropractors use a wider number of techniques for the “adjustment” on the vertebrae, similar to osteopathic manipulation, to facilitate optimal nerve transition.
- Osteopaths spend more time with their patients per visit as their approach is broader and treatments tend to be spaced out over a longer period of time.
- Chiropractors tend to focus mainly (but not exclusively) on the alignment of the spine as the primary means to relieve pain by preventing any compromise of the nervous system.
- Chiropractors use more diagnostic procedures such as X-rays, MRI scans, blood tests and urine tests, whereas osteopaths place more emphasis on physical examination, and will generally refer patients on for more diagnostic procedures if required.
- Chiropractic appointments tend to be shorter (in most cases) as they primarily focus on adjustment techniques which are quicker to carry out.
- Chiropractors tend to see their patients more frequently/often.
At the end of the day it's 'who' not 'what' that matters. Find someone who listens to what you are telling them, communicates well with you, whose treating 'style' suits you and most importantly goes the extra mile to make sure you're improving.
If you do see a person who is NOT a Chiropractor or Osteopath do NOT allow them to use manipulation/adjustment (the "cracking of bones".) We are specialist practitioners who have trained for 4 years to acquire the level of skill needed to use these techniques safely. A weekend course is not an adequate substitute. We could have saved a lot of money at University otherwise!!