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What is the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor?

What is the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor?

This is by far the number one question that patients ask in clinic. So what is the difference and which one is more suited to treat your specific condition such as back pain, muscle strains, headaches etc..

The reality is there are far more similarities between the three professions than there are differences. It is thought that osteopathy and chiropractic specialise mainly with bones and the spine whereas physiotherapists will focus more on your muscles and joints but that isn’t really true. We are all trained to treat the same conditions whether that be muscle strains, joint pain or back and neck pain. A good therapist should be able to treat all your issues effectively regardless of their profession. 

Typically there are some differences in how they might approach their treatment. Physios are supposedly more rehabilitation and exercise based whilst chiropractor’s tend to be more focussed on the clicking and cracking of joints. Osteopaths may use a combination of the above in combination with joint articulation,  soft tissue and massage work. This is very much a generalisation as it’s possible to find two osteopaths that work very differently to each other or a chiropractor that works osteopathically and vice a versa. Using our clinic as an example, We are osteopaths but also often use Laser therapy and acupuncture which other osteopaths may not. 

Rather than focus on what you see for your pain it’s much more important who you see. A good therapist regardless of their chosen profession  will be much better for you than a bad one.

So, how can you tell who is or isn’t a good therapist? I would love to answer that but unfortunately this is long enough already and that is deserving of its own blog so until then..

Thanks for reading


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