People who are known as “chiropractors” and “osteopaths” are both skilled medical professionals whose job it is to treat patients with a focus on the body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes the spine, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. However, these two professions are actually somewhat radically different, and both require various differing levels of certification and both provide alternative services.

In the past, there has also been some minor historical hostility between the two fields of medical practices, which makes working out the differences slightly challenging. However, both have their advocates and both provide a valuable and useful health service, with each of them being included in holistic healthcare.

What Differences Are There Between An Osteopath and A Chiropractor?

  1. The Chiropractor

A chiropractor is a skilled medical professional who is trained in chiropractic medicine, normally in a three to four year programme.

As a student a potential chiropractor will have to study:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biology
  • The skeletal system

An expert chiropractor in Melbourne believes that:

  • Many health problems are related to an imbalance in the musculoskeletal system, and they study to conduct small adjustments to this system whilst at school.
  • Opposite to popular belief, such adjustments do not only apply to the back.
  • Chiropractic is a skilled medical specialty, quite the opposite to osteopathy, which is similar to a medical philosophy.
  1. The Osteopath

An osteopath, however, is much more similar to a doctor, especially in the Western world. Professionals in this field believe in treating:

  • The body as a whole.
  • Include the musculoskeletal system as an important feature in their practice.
  • Osteopathy does not believe that many problems can be solved via adjustments.
  • Focus on preventative types of medicine and well-being of the musculoskeletal system to lessen and kinds of problems.
  • Also offer other types of medical treatment.
  • In Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States, they have to be licenced physicians and also be able to carry out not only surgery, but prescribe medicine, and provide other medical services which will depend on what field of health care they have decided to specialise in.

Dedicated to their Craft

Both professions, an osteopath and a chiropractor must partake in qualifying examinations before being allowed to practice, and they will have to participate in continuing education to be licenced throughout the country in which they happen to practice. Both might also have to provide referrals to medical specialists so as to treat specialised conditions.

Generally speaking, an osteopath due to his or her line of work, will have to undertake slightly more learning than the chiropractor, especially in some areas. The first being a conventional medical doctor who focusses on holistic health, whereas the chiropractor practices in an extremely specialised and certainly unique field of health care.

An osteopath can offer a patient general care, while the chiropractor can provide the particular service of modifications and manipulations with the intention of helping to improve health and a reduction in pain.