The Difference Between Chiropractic & Osteopathy

What is the difference between Chiropractic & Osteopathy?

If you are suffering from muscular, joint, ligament or back pain – it’s difficult for you to know what type of treatment is best for you – chiropractic, osteopathy or physiotherapy?

From the outside it would appear there seems to be a lot of similarities between chiropractic and osteopathy, how do you know which treatment will work for you? Here, we will explain the differences…


What is the difference between chiropractic and osteopathy?

The main difference between the two professions is mainly historic. Both have been established for over a century with both starting independently of each other in America, then crossing over to the UK and Europe shortly afterwards.

The past decade has seen both of the professions being registered. This means chiropractic and osteopathy are now regulated in the same way that medicine is.


 What are the practical difference between the treatments?

Chiropractors are the most ‘joint specific’ of all these professions. The approach being that if a joint, particularly in the spine, is locked which is then causing pressure on one of your nerves then it needs to be adjusted to relieve this pressure and thus relieving the pain the nerve will be causing. We use manipulation to help move the joint, restoring the mobility, and thereby improving flexibility and reducing pain.

Manipulation is utilised by osteopaths and physiotherapists too, but the approach is slightly different in that an osteopath looks more at the muscles and how they affect joint mobility. Restoring muscle function can improve joint mobility and flexibility then reducing pain.

The three professions are increasingly seen as all working together under the umbrella of ‘physical therapies’. For the first time ever chiropractors and osteopaths worked with sports physiotherapists at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Which conditions are best suited to chiropractic or osteopathy?

Chiropractors and osteopaths can treat all types of muscle, joint and ligament injuries. In our experience chiropractors and osteopaths work extensively with back and neck pain, but increasingly both professions are treating more and more muscle and joint injuries. They can also help with whiplash injuries and neck related headaches or vertigo.

How will you know who to choose if you are in pain?

In reality the professions are more similar than they are different. Good therapists from any of the professions have various treatments they will utilise on their patients and will vary them depending on the individual situation and symptoms for the patient.

Each therapist from each profession has a different way of delivering treatment. Some will seem to be more direct and some will be gentler.

The priority is that you feel confident they have your best interests at heart, have listened to you, know and understand what is wrong, discuss the options of care available, and will provide the treatment that will best suit you.

Are you in pain and in need of treatment?

At Life Chiropractic Clinics Essex you will find chiropractic, Sports Massage and other complementary therapies. Simply call our friendly and professional reception team and they will advise who you who is best to see. Alternatively click the link below to book your consultation online now.

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