Difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor


Find Osteopaths in London & UK »

The holistic approaches used by osteopaths are also used by a number of other health professionals including chiropractors. Both osteopaths and chiropractors are regulated by law and have to be registered with their regulatory council (such as the general council of chiropractors, GCC). This ensures that you know that you will receive a minimum standard of care and treatment whatever chiropractor or osteopath you choose to visit. 

Similarly to osteopathic education and training, chiropractors will have undertaken a 3 or 4 year degree (accredited with the general council of chiropractors) before they can become registered with the GCC.

Diagnosis by an Osteopath and Chiropractor

Osteopaths treat and diagnose problems with your bones, soft tissue and muscles by looking at the function of your body as a whole. However, chiropractors look at the effect that your bones, soft tissue and muscles have on your nervous system specifically the nerves that run within your spine.

Treatment by an Osteopath and Chiropractor

Osteopaths use soft tissue massage and movement (concentrating on the soft tissues) to re-balance your body’s structure in a way that enhances your blood flow and nerve function. This allows your body’s natural healing process to be improved. Chiropractors use manipulation to adjust the position of your spine and joints in order to improve your nerve function and healing ability.

Chiropractic Treatment compared to Osteopathic Treatment

The similarities between chiropractic and osteopathic treatment are obvious and in fact the gentleman who founded chiropractic was a student of Dr Andrew Taylor Still (the founder of osteopathy). However you should be aware that subtle differences between the two techniques may make one more suitable for you than the other. Chiropractic treatment involves the manipulation of your bone alignment (usually your spine) so you might hear popping or clicking noises as the bones move relative to each other. This is perfectly normal with chiropractic treatment, but if you think that the noise will bother you a great deal, then you might want to consider visiting an osteopath instead.


« Standards and Requirements for Osteopaths Difference between an Osteopath and a Physiotherapist »