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Osteopathy and Chiropractors


Posted by Doug Tanahill

One of the main questions I have been asked since starting my training to become an Osteopath is what the difference is between between it and chiropractics.

This is a question that can’t really be answered without a little detail about the two so I’ll begin by explaining each individually using the same descriptions as used by the governing body of each.

Osteopathy is a primary care profession, focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patients' general health.

Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery.  Osteopathy is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal, and osteopathic care focuses on strengthening the musculoskeletal systems to treat existing conditions and to prevent illness.

Osteopaths' patient-centred approach to health and well-being means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient's full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances.  This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.

Chiropractic is a primary contact health profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and management of conditions that are due to problems with the bones, joints, muscles and nerves, particularly those of the spine.

Chiropractors work on all parts of the body, concentrating particularly on the spine, using their hands to perform skilled, precise manipulation. BCA chiropractors provide an individual 'package of care' whereby they support their treatment with a range of other techniques as well as advice about the patient's lifestyle, work and exercise in order to help in managing the condition and preventing a recurrence of the problem.

As you can see the two seem very similar by description. The reality is that there can be as many differences in between practitioners of the same discipline as between differing disciplines!

As always, when selecting a practitioner from either discipline ensure they are fully qualified and have a proven track record for helping individuals overcome pain and dysfunction.  Someone you feel comfortable with and in whom you have complete confidence.

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