What’s The Difference Between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?

What's The Difference Between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor

The difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor is that a chiropractor focuses on providing care for the spine, muscles, and joints. Meanwhile, an osteopath can provide care in several other areas of the body and prescribe medication.

If you were injured or suffer a painful condition, you have several options for treatment. Our chiropractors can provide a personalized approach to your chiropractic treatment to help alleviate your discomfort. Reach out to our office today at (239) 631-5445 to learn more about how we can help you work toward regaining your health without the use of drugs.

Primary Differences Between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath

If you need medical treatment for a specific work-related injury or another type of injury to a particular part of the body, it may be smart to seek care from either an osteopath or a chiropractor.

Osteopaths Can Prescribe Medication

A doctor of osteopathic medicine needs a license to practice in the state of Florida, according to the University of Florida Health. Osteopaths can:

  • Write prescriptions for medications
  • Perform surgeries
  • Treat the entire body

Chiropractors also must hold a license to practice in Florida. However, the chiropractor doesn’t quite perform the same type of medical care as the osteopath. Chiropractors don’t prescribe medication, and they don’t do surgery. These doctors focus on finding alternative types of treatments for drugs.

They focus on spine injury treatment, although they can provide care to all parts of the body. Problems in the spine and joints can manifest themselves in almost any area of the body as weakness or pain.

Chiropractors Can Read X-Rays

If you suffered injuries in a car accident and you decided to seek chiropractic care, the chiropractor can take x-rays of the injuries to your body. The chiropractor also can interpret the results.

An osteopath does not have training in taking X-rays. If the osteopath requires X-rays or other types of scans, the patient will likely go to a medical center or imaging center for these scans. The osteopath would then receive the results from the medical center.

Chiropractors Work Toward Realignment of the Patient’s Spine

Using spinal manipulation techniques, the chiropractor attempts to place the spine into the proper alignment and to make sure it stays there. The chiropractor believes that spinal alignment plays a key role in allowing the entire body to remain healthy, while also helping the patient heal from a variety of injuries or everyday ailments and pain.

Osteopaths also focus on how the patient’s musculoskeletal system affects the performance and health of the entire body. The founding of osteopathy involved a core belief that all the body’s various systems have a relationship.

This relationship means that improvements in one area of the body could lead to improved health in other areas of the body. Osteopaths work to understand how to provide care that achieves the best results using the body’s interdependencies.

Chiropractors Focus on Treatments Without Drugs

One of the biggest differences in how an osteopath and a chiropractor practice medicine is in how they attempt to diagnose the problems their patients are having.

Because a chiropractor does not prescribe medication, the focus is on helping the body work better. The chiropractor thinks about the body’s functionality in terms of how it relates to the spine, the nervous system, and the muscular system.

An osteopath examines the body beyond the spine and muscular system. When a patient is reporting a certain problem, the osteopath may deploy several different treatment options, some of which are similar to chiropractic and some of which are similar to a general practitioner. Commonly, people will refer to osteopaths as taking a holistic approach to treating patients.

Slight Differences in Spinal Manipulation Techniques

Generally, a chiropractor attempts to move a joint or the spine into its normal alignment as part of the manipulation technique. This often can result in a cracking noise. Chiropractors will perform the manipulation at the office, and they may prescribe exercises for the patient to do at home to help improve their range of motion between office visits.

The osteopath generally uses stretching and massage techniques to try to improve the range of motion and functionality of a certain part of the body. Osteopath doctors also give patients work to do at home that aids in regaining function and range of motion.

Some chiropractors may choose to perform massage and stretching techniques, and some osteopaths may use a more aggressive manipulation technique that causes the joints to crack. It just depends on the doctor’s preferences and the types of injuries being treated.

Similarities Between Osteopaths and Chiropractors

Similarities Between Osteopaths and Chiropractors

Even though osteopathy vs. chiropractic treatments involve significant differences, they also have a few similarities. For example:

Both Require Medical Degrees

Both osteopaths and chiropractors must go to medical school and receive degrees before they’re allowed to practice medicine in Florida.

The doctors at Naples Community Injury Center, for example, have several decades of collective experience with chiropractic care, along with their medical degrees.

Both Chiropractors and Osteopaths Perform Spinal Manipulation

Joint and spinal adjustments are part of the course of treatment for both osteopaths and chiropractors. These adjustments provide relief from pain, while also helping patients improve their overall health.

Massage also can be part of the treatment of the patient for both of these types of doctors.

Call Naples Community Injury Center for an Appointment Today

If you have questions about the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor, the team at the Naples Community Injury Center is ready to help you. We focus on chiropractic care, and we can put together a care plan for you.

Contact our doctors today at (239) 631-5445 to learn more about how we can help with your pain management through chiropractic treatment.