Do you need to see someone about your joints, but aren’t sure if you need to see a Chiropractor or Osteopath? Many people are not sure what the difference between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath is and it’s important to choose the right one to relieve your pain quickly and safely.
What is a Chiropractor?
Chiropractic care is on the neuromusculoskeletal system which is your bones, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They help your neck and back pain by re-aligning and making adjustments to your spine.
Chiropractors focus on natural body healing by guiding the body along to do it quicker with chiropractic methods of spinal adjustment. Often, they will take X-rays and review those results to conclude what adjustments to make and methods to use.
Chiropractors do not use medication, they rely fully on the body’s ability to heal itself. They often use their hands or instruments to massage the body into its proper alignment. Depending on the severity of the pain, they may even use massage therapy, braces and shoe inserts to help balance your spinal imbalances.
Your spinal problems may have been caused by factors that are not genetic, and can therefore be helped. For example, a chiropractor may ask about your diet and exercise regime, to see whether this is a factor that needs adjusting in order to relieve present and future pain. Before seeing a chiropractor, you can perhaps track food and exercise habits to save time in your chiropractic journey to freedom of pain.
What Is An Osteopath?
Along the same lines as spinal movement, osteopaths also massage and stretch the muscles to relieve pain or other symptoms. Osteopathy may be used to treat shoulder pain, arthritis, sports injuries or lower back pain. They focus on the joints, rather than the spine. Osteopaths do not use X-rays or MRIs to measure pain rather they focus fully on the movement of the body.
So What Is The Difference Between A Chiropractor And An Osteopath?
Chiropractic care is actually derived from osteopathic care, so they are quite alike in their roots. However, although chiropractors and osteopaths are very similar and work towards the same goal of releasing muscle pain, they work in different areas and have different views.
A chiropractor will mainly work on the spine and adjust and align the spine to counteract any neck or back pain. An osteopath, however, will focus on the whole body, looking at other parts that may be causing pain. They take a more holistic approach to the pain, rather than focusing just on one area. For example, they may seek muscle and joint therapy because of respiratory pain or digestive problems and take the holistic approach. They are known for thinking in cause-and-effect, believing that a part of your body is causing your pain.
If you have hip pain it could be caused by an aching foot, causing you to strain more on your hip. An osteopath would work on massaging and healing your foot or ankle muscles. A chiropractor, on the other hand, may take an X-Ray and work on massaging around the spinal or hip area to heal the pain.
However, please be aware that the NHS has not found any evidence that osteopathy is an effective treatment for any health conditions that are unrelated to the muscles and bones, which include headaches, digestive disorders and migraines.
So Should I See A Chiropractor Or An Osteopath?
Research doesn’t really conclude that one is better than the other, so it’s really down to personal preference and circumstance. If your condition is a singular condition thought to be healed by chiropractic focus care, then a chiropractor is the one to visit.
But, if you have multiple pains that could be linked (such as hip and knee pain), perhaps seeing an osteopath will be helpful to have a holistic view of your condition.
But of course, take these recommendations lightly and if you are having spinal or muscular pain, ask your doctor who may be able to give a more accurate suggestion on your circumstance and recommend the right specialist.