The Difference Between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath

What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?

  1. Diagnosing patients
  2. Specialization
  3. Conditions treated
  4. Treatment options
Dealing with back pain is something that everyone seems to experience at some point in their lives. Younger and younger and people are starting to endure this pain, and they are looking for possible treatments and solutions. Most people have heard of them, but they don’t really know the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath. These medical practitioners can both help you manage your pain and restore functionality to some body parts. Their areas of expertise may be different, but they can surely help you with your pain in some way. Here are some of the differences between a chiropractor and an osteopath:

Diagnosing patients

Chiropractors and osteopaths have different approaches to diagnosing their patients. Chiropractors deal with the sensitive structure of the spine. They use imaging techniques such as ultrasound, X-rays, and MRIs to diagnose the ailment. Osteopaths tend to use manual techniques of assessment like palpation to assess what’s wrong with the patient. Despite this, they will both still take a case and take a medical history with their patients because they are medical professionals.


Specialization The focus of a chiropractor is on the spine. They have been trained to treat issues with the spine and their main expertise is about illnesses and abnormalities with the spine and joints. Their approach relies on the premise that good spinal health will promote better overall physical health. On the other hand, osteopaths have a more holistic approach to the human body. Instead of focusing on one part, they strive to give enough attention to the entire body. They treat muscles, bones, joints, and other extremities. Overall, they try to heal the whole body.

Conditions treated

Chiropractors can treat conditions such as neck pain, back pain, tension headaches, migraines, and even whiplash. They also have ways to deal with sciatica, sacroiliac pain, and other joint pains. Osteopaths also treat bone and muscle issues like joint, neck, and back pain. They also claim to treat conditions such as asthma, period pains, digestive disorders, jaw problems, and scoliosis.

Treatment options

Treatment options The main treatment option of chiropractors is spinal adjustment. They manipulate the body to adjust the spine to optimal positions for reasons like relieving nerve pressure. Other than this, they also do massages, hot and cold therapies, exercises, and spinal decompression. Osteopaths choose from more treatment options because they try to deal with more parts of the body. They do a combination of adjustments, medications, and injections to name a few. This is part of their efforts to heal the body as a whole. Most likely, treatment with both practitioners would start with a few weeks of sessions with them to deal with your pain. They will prescribe some at-home exercises or medication, and continue the treatment plan as needed.

Key takeaway

When choosing which practitioner to visit, just remember what kind of pain it is that you need treated. Knowing the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath should tell you which specialization is more focused and will help you with your issues. Are you having back problems? Do the joints in your knees, elbows, or ankles hurt? At Chiropractor Philippines, we can help you! Just send us a message here to schedule an appointment for a consultation! 

Written By: Dr. Benedicto Luz Adorable III

Dr. Ben is the CEO and Founder of Philippine Chiropractic Healthcare Specialist. He has a Doctorate Degree of Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic.

To read more about Dr. Ben, click here.

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