If you’re new to the world of natural therapies and are investigating alternative avenues to traditional medicine, knowing the differences between some of what we do, and other medical disciplines can be quite confusing. One such example is knowing the difference between an osteopath vs a chiropractor.
To provide you with a full understanding of how osteopaths differ from chiropractors, we’ve broken every detail we can think of into the below points. So if you’re looking to learn if an osteopath can prescribe medication, or when to see an osteopath, keep reading.
What Does ‘Osteopathic’ Mean?
Before delving into the fundamental focus points of osteopathy, it's important to understand what it means. The Merriam-Webster defines osteopathy and the practice of osteopathic treatments as "a system of medical practice based on a theory that diseases are due chiefly to loss of structural integrity which can be restored by manipulation of the parts supplemented by therapeutic measures (such as the use of drugs or surgery)"
With the above definition in mind, it’s easy to see where a lot of the confusion regarding osteopaths vs chiropractors comes into play. However, while they may sound quite similar in definition, they differ significantly in practice.
The Fundamental Differences Between Osteopaths and Chiropractors
The easiest way to explain this is that a chiropractor will focus solely on a patient's spine and joints, with some degree of focus on the muscles, while an osteopathic physician concentrates on those areas, in conjunction with the rest of the patient's body and will have a much broader focus in general.
Osteopathy is entirely drug-free as well, which makes it an attractive option for those who are looking to pursue alternatives to traditional medicine. Another drawing point to osteopathic treatments is that they are non-invasive.
You might find yourself asking, “are osteopaths considered doctors in Australia?” Moreover, the osteopaths at Natureco gain the title of Doctor for completing their degrees in Osteopathic Medicine.
Another question that might surface in your mind is “do osteopaths crack backs?”, and the short answer is yes, similarly to how chiropractors will conduct an adjustment, an osteopathic practitioner will crack your back as part of certain treatments.
What Can an Osteopath Do for Me?
As mentioned, osteopaths have a broad range of focus when it comes to what they can treat. For example, an osteopathic physician could assist in the following areas and more:
Is Osteopathy Safe?
The short answer to this question is, yes. Osteopathy is considered to be a completely safe treatment if conducted appropriately and by a professional. However, it is good to know that you may experience some minor side effects after a session is complete. Some of what you might experience includes:
When to See an Osteopath
Knowing when you should consider seeing an Osteopath is vital. Some of the typical conditions you can look into receiving osteopathic assistance for include:
Which to Choose?
Whether you decide to see an osteopath or chiropractor for neck pain or lower back pain is of course entirely up to you. It also depends on the kind of therapy you’re looking to undergo, as sometimes it’s beneficial to combine osteopathy and chiropractic care. Ultimately though, it’s up to the lifestyle you wish to lead and whether you’re willing to take medication or not.
If you’re looking for more information on the topic of when to visit an osteopath vs a chiropractor, please give us a call. Our friendly and professional staff are poised to answer any questions and address all of your concerns.