The differences between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor

As a multi-discipline health clinic, we often have customers come to us not being 100% sure which practitioner they need to see, especially when there are crossovers between some of their specialities. 

One of the most common questions is ‘what is the difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?’ We caught up with Nicola (Osteopath) and Joe (Chiropractor) here at Body Consultancy, to find out more. 

What is the main difference?

In short, whilst the two specialisms hold many similarities to each other, the main difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor is that a Chiropractor primarily focuses on the spinal area as well as other joints whereas an Osteopath focuses on the whole body, including the organs inside the body, the muscles and the bones. 

Historically, Osteopathy provided a slightly more holistic approach to pain relief, but both will look at finding the cause of the pain before starting a treatment plan. 

However, nowadays both use very similar techniques that can work with both these areas, and the process a patient will go through is very similar, including the techniques that are used. 

Do Osteopaths and Chiropractors go through the same training?

Both practitioners would have gone through a similar curriculum and extensive training in the neuromusculoskeletal system. As with any profession, the individual practitioner will bring their own “flair” to the treatment room but this is a matter of personality rather than what we can do with the patient.  

How does Body Consultancy decide whether you need to see an Osteopath or a Chiropractor?

As a multi-discipline clinic, it makes matching the patient with the correct practitioner very beneficial. We look at your condition closely to pair you with the right practitioner within our clinics. 

What conditions do an Osteopath and Chiropractor typically treat? 

  • Arthritic pain
  • Circulatory problems
  • Cramp
  • Digestion problems
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frozen shoulder/ elbow and shoulder pain/ tennis elbow 
  • Joint pains
  • General, acute & chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or accident)
  • Generalised aches and pains
  • Lumbago
  • Migraine prevention
  • Minor sports injuries
  • Muscle spasms
  • Neuralgia
  • Tension and inability to relax
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Plantar fasciitis (short-term management)
  • Rotator cuff injuries, diseases or disorders
  • Sciatica
  • Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain

Can both practitioners treat pregnant women and children? 

In short, the answer is yes. However, further CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training is required as it’s a specific specialism and requires a further skill set beyond treating other individuals. 

If you’re pregnant or have a child that requires treatment from one of our team, get in touch with Body Consultancy for a complimentary consultation today. 

What is the treatment process if I think I need an Osteopath or Chiropractor?

We always start with a consultation to scope out the next steps and to put a treatment in place. The consultation will usually be around 30 minutes at your local Body Consultancy clinic, this will also help us to establish which practitioner you will be best suited to. 

Following this, we will arrange a series of appointments, which will usually be around 5-8, 1-hour appointments that will focus on finding the source of your pain and starting to reduce it. 

Your practitioner will also give you a selection of exercises to do in between your appointments. Your scheduled appointments are usually every week depending on your requirements but may be more often than that if needs be. 

Once you have attended your initial appointments, we will set up a few maintenance appointments which will be more spread out and aim to maintain your progress and will allow you to keep improving. 

Why should I choose Body Consultancy? 

As one of the South’s leading private healthcare practices we’ll take the time to really listen, so we fully understand your situation and what you want to achieve. 

Then we’ll put together the treatment or exercise programme that’s exactly right for you. You’ll be able to tap into a range of integrated services and scientifically proven, natural treatments delivered by our highly qualified healthcare practitioners.

All our staff have different backgrounds, not just in terms of profession but also our experience in different sports and interests. With so many professions under one roof, we can pick each other’s brains and inter refer to other practitioners that we feel the patient may benefit from. It definitely allows for a more holistic and well-rounded approach putting the patient and their goals at the forefront.

“After being recommended to Body Consultancy I went to see Chiropractor Joe who was very thorough, friendly and professional. I went along complaining of lower back discomfort & hip pain. My first consultation was very comprehensive & a treatment plan was put in place.” – Sandy (client of Body Consultancy) 

If we sound like the right fit for you, give us a call on 01425 473093 (Ringwood) or 01202 021138 (Verwood), use the form on our contact page or book your complimentary consultation online here.