- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
What is the Difference Between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?
What is the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor? Often we use the terms interchangeably but there is a difference.
An osteopath, or a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O) is a fully licensed medical doctor whose focus is largely on the musculoskeletal system. This system reflects and influences all the other systems.
On the other hand, a chiropractor spends two to three years studying to become a licensed practitioner and is more concerned with the alignment of the spine.
The Job of an Osteopath (M.D.)
As an M.D., the osteopath can practice all medical and surgical specialties and can write prescriptions. They are required to have more than 350 hours of training to develop skills in OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment), which involves applying precise amounts of force to release compression in muscles and joints, promote the normal movement of bodily fluids and tissues, and engage the body’s natural healing abilities.
A Doctor of Osteopathy uses OMT to treat almost anything. This includes chronic conditions like pain, migraines, ear infections, and asthma. OMT can boost the immune system and improve drainage.
A 1999 study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people suffering from lower back pain who were treated with OMT needed less medication and experienced the same reduction in pain. Additionally, range of motion improved with OMT the same as those receiving medication and physical therapy.
In addition to OMT, osteopaths use a greater range of techniques which include stretching, pressure, and Cranial Osteopathy (which focuses of the cranial bones), which all involve subtle adjustments.
The Job of the Chiropractor
Chiropractors usually stick to spinal manipulation and/or controlled force to the joints.
It pays to be informed if you must pick one of the other in order to receive the type of treatment you want.
For alternative treatment options, see the links below:
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