Osteopathy Vs Chiropractic
There are three key differences between Osteopathy and Chiropractic. The first difference is the philosophy behind the diagnosis of the patients condition.
Chiropractors believe that all dysfunction originates in the spine. They believe that if the spine not working correctly, and one of the joints of the spine is compressing the nerve where it leaves the spinal column this will affect the signals going to the muscles that nerve supplies. By treating the spine, and correcting this dysfunction they hope to restore the natural function of these muscles.
Osteopaths on the other hand believe that a dysfunction can result from a problem anywhere in the body. If you have pain, its not necessarily the area of pain that is causing the problem. For example, if you have lower back pain, it may be caused by your hamstrings being too tight. An Osteopath would choose to treat the hamstring in order to relieve strain on the lower back and as such allow the body to heal more efficiently and naturally.
As such, Osteopaths generally look more globally at the body and may treat multiple areas whereas generally Chiropractors will only work on the spine and surrounding tissues.
Personally, I like to use my experience across all health modalities that I have studied since graduating as an Osteopath, such as nutrition, lifestyle factors, and movement to be able to provide my patients with a truly wholistic treatment with the best, long term outcome.
The second difference is the assessment phase of the consultation. Chiropractors will more commonly use some form of imaging such as X ray. This may result in a delay in your treatment as your first consultation involves imaging, your second, to go through the results and treatment plan, and the third consultation the treatment commences. Whereas X-ray is useful to diagnose serious pathology such as fracture, cancer and bone infection such pathological causes of pain are rare, and untreatable by allied health practitioners. Chiropractors may use X-rays to analyse spinal biomechanics, however there is very poor research to suggest this is useful. It may in fact result in a lesser sense of wellbeing of the patient, and of course unnecessary radiation exposure.
Osteopaths however rarely use X-ray and will normally treat you on the first consultation. An assessment of posture, mobility, and some special tests to provoke the pain is conducted. Generally we arrive at a working diagnosis using our hands and eyes. Then we will explain the issue and begin treatment.
I provide a free assessment so you can come and see if Osteopathy suits your needs with no obligation or cost.
Generally chiropractic treatment is quite short. As their philosophy is that all problems originate in the spine they will only treat the spine and surrounding muscles. Spinal manipulation is very common (clicking necks and backs). The average chiropractic consultation is around 15 minutes.
Osteopaths treat much more globally, treating the whole body using techniques such as massage, stretching techniques and joint mobilisation as well as joint manipulation (if appropriate). The average Osteopathic consultation is around 30 minutes
My treatment times are a minimum of 40 minutes (at no extra cost/cheaper than most other clinics). I have spent years working on my own mobility, and investigating the best methods to create long term change, not just from the world of Osteopathy, but also gymnastics, functional movement and other disciplines, and I have found that to create long term change you need longer treatment.
Ultimately though it doesn’t matter who you see as long as you feel comfortable with that practitioner and you like the style of treatment they use, and of course, you find the treatment beneficial!