There are differences between osteopathy and chiropractic care, and knowing them can help you. Choosing a healthcare provider is an important decision and many people struggle with determining the right fit for themselves and their families. The seemingly endless list of fields and specialties doesn’t necessarily help. As you consider the kind of over-all care you are seeking, you will also want to factor in any current health concerns and personal preferences.
When it comes to back pain, most people choose to see either a chiropractor or an osteopath, but that is not the only problem they can help you with. Many people often wonder what chiropractic and osteopathy differences even are. The chiropractic and osteopathic fields do share many similarities; however, there are a number of important differences as well.
What Chiropractic and Osteopathy Have In Common
Both Chiropractors and Osteopaths are medical professionals that place significant importance on a healthy spine and its role in the overall health and integrity of the body, so it’s helpful to understand the care and treatments they each have to offer.
Chiropractic and osteopathic medicine share a common history as evidenced by the similarity in their philosophies that spinal health and overall health are intertwined, setting them apart from current mainstream medicine. They both believe that a properly functioning spine promotes the proper functioning of the nervous system and blood flow throughout the body.
The most frequent goal for both is the relief of mechanical aches and pains, but they also treat more than just bones, joints, and the surrounding tissues. Due to the nature of their fields, both influence the blood supply and nervous system, which in turn impact conditions such as migraines, stress, asthma, and digestive disorders to name just a few.
Additional similarities include the following:
- Each is a primary caregiver; a referral from a medical doctor is not required.
- Both can choose to specialize in areas such as sports medicine, nutrition, radiology, orthopedics, pediatrics, and others.
- They utilize a “hands-on” approach with the manipulation of joints and may incorporate massaging of the surrounding muscles and tissue.
- Both osteopathy and chiropractic utilize touch and observation when diagnosing patients.
- Both are allowed to utilize such physiotherapy techniques as electrotherapy, laser, and ultrasound.
- Osteopathy and chiropractic care both are more interested in finding the cause of a problem and fixing it.
- Both have the objective to alleviate/eliminate bodily aches and pains.
Osteopathy and chiropractic differences
As you can see there is an overlapping range of services provided by both types of doctors. Now we’ll take a look at where and how the two fields diverge in practice. Here are some osteopathy and chiropractic differences.
- Specializes in the care of the nervous system, skeletal system, the joints, and related nerves and muscles.
- More inward focus on spinal alignment and preventing compromise of the nervous system to relieve pain.
- Treating spinal/joint causes (not just symptoms) but many incorporate a more whole-body approach. Surgery and pharmaceuticals are considered as a last resort.
- Utilizes more diagnostic imaging (MRI, X-ray, etc.).
- Does not perform surgery or prescribe drugs.
- Best for treating spinal problems causing muscle strains, headaches, sciatica, general back pain, etc.
- Employs a wider range of techniques for manipulating the spine and joints.
- Can help with many other conditions because it effects the entire nervous system.
- Less specific on mechanical function and blood flow, more holistic treatment.
- More outward focus on the musculoskeletal system to improve posture and alignment.
- More emphasis on clinical examination and often refers out for more diagnostic procedures as necessary. Surgery and pharmaceuticals more likely to be included in treatment plans.
- Can perform surgery and prescribe drugs.
- Treats a broader range of disorders such as infections and systemic disease requiring medications.
Within each field, you are also going to find some practitioners who practice closer to the more similar end of the spectrum and others who practice more in line with the differences. Dr, David Kulla is certified in a technique called Cox Flexion Distraction Technique that was founded by a chiropractor Dr. James Cox and his father an Osteopath.
At Synergy Wellness, we offer a whole-body, drug-free approach to help you reach your wellness potential. We focus on balancing your physical, mental, and social well-being.
Synergy means “multiple forces working in concert together to achieve optimum results…” We offer an interdisciplinary approach to wellness. Chiropractic, physical therapy, cold laser therapy, spinal decompression, massage therapy, and acupuncture are just some of the treatment options we have available.
Our healthcare professionals work together to ensure each patient receives personalized care so that you can achieve optimal wellness and start living life to its fullest.
Contact Synergy Wellness and schedule an appointment with Dr. Dave today!