When the philosophies are your point of comparison, the differences between these two health practices are subtle. It only becomes obvious if you take a deeper look into their scope of practice and educational requirements. Both actually subscribe to the whole body concept of treatment. Osteopaths believe that lack of blood flow will lead to disease while chiropractors believe that nerve interference can result to diseases.
This was founded in 1860s by a medical doctor and surgeon who served various military bases. In 1864, his 3 children died because of spinal meningitis so he began studying the relationship between the musculoskeletal system and disease.
It is further emphasized that this form of medical care has been founded on the philosophy that all body systems depend on one another to achieve good health. When it comes to the scope of practice of osteopathic physicians, they can already prescribe medicine and perform surgery whenever necessary. They strongly believe in the philosophy of treating the whole person as one rather than treating just the symptoms. Today, the number of professionals performing manipulation has decreased as more and more of them are required to train in hospitals in different disciplines. The good side though of this is that they can specialize in various types of medical practice.
This was founded in 1895. A chiropractor is dedicated to paying careful attention to the function, biomechanics, and structure of the spine. They also take into account the spine’s effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems. These professionals strongly believe that the body will heal itself when the function and structure are corrected.
As for their scope of practice, they limit to treating low back pain, headaches, joint problems, sciatica, and other related issues. Apart from that, they can also treat spinal disc conditions, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other ligament and tendon issues like strains and sprains. Be reminded that they don’t administer medications but recommend herbal remedies and vitamins. Moreover, they don’t perform invasive treatments. Rather, they employ physical therapy, spinal manipulation, and nutrition.
If you are deciding on which health provider is best for you, there are several things to consider. These include the nature and severity of your health condition, and your personal preference. Bear in mind that problems associated with the spine may be best treated by a chiropractor. On the other hand, illnesses like bacterial and viral infections and systemic diseases requiring medications and aggressive treatments are best treated by an osteopath.