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What is the difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019


We often get asked this question at the clinic. We feel that one of the main differences is that Chiropractors are trained to take x-rays. So when we have a patient that has tried to get answers to their health problems from different routes we find it beneficial to take x-rays to have the 'blue-print' of what maybe causing the underlying problem. We can then see exactly what we are dealing with and take the best course of action.


We also googled the question ourselves and found the following, which you may find interesting.

This information was posted on Backcare website (www.backcare.org.uk)



The difference between Chiropractic and Osteopathy


. Chiropractic and Osteopathy are very similar disciplines

. In the UK both are statutorily regulation with their own Acts of Parliament and their own General Councils

. There is therefore a huge overlap of both these disciplines with a large portion of their workload being very similar.


Diagnosis


. Chiropractors tend to use more diagnostic procedures, such as x-rays and MRI scans.

. Case history taking and orthopedic examination are very similar for both professions and both use movement palpation (feeling the spine as it moves) to assist in diagnosing were there are abnormalities of movement.


Treatment


. Around 50% of patients consulting an Osteopath receive manipulation whereas about 90% of patients receive a similar treatment called an 'adjustment' if they consult a Chiropractor.

. When a patient is manipulated or adjusted, the joint is moved just beyond its normal range of movement in an attempt to restore normal function. This obviously has to be done without spraining the joint and this is one of the many skills that Chiropractors and Osteopaths spend several years learning when training.

. Mobilisation, which consists of stretching the joint rhythmically within its normal range of movement, is used more by Osteopaths that Chiropractors.

. Both disciplines have similar methods of treating muscular, postural, cranial and pediatric problems. though the terminology used by each profession is different.


Qualifications


Chiropractic is a statutorily self-regulated profession - that is, Chiropractors like doctors and dentists, must be registered with the government appointed regulator, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). It is illegal to practices as a Chiropractor without being registered with the GCC. In order to achieve registration, practitioners must graduate with either a Bachelors or Masters degree in Chiropractic and the names of the degrees may vary depending on the awarding University. Registration with the regulator means that the individual has a properly approved Chiropractic qualification, current professional indemnity insurance and is subject to the GCC professional code of practice and standard of proficiency.


Osteopathy is a statutory self-regulated profession as above and it is an offence for anyone to describe themselves as an osteopath and practice as such, unless registered with the General Osteopathic Council. Training takes between four and five years. Osteopaths use the letters DO, or BSc (Hons) (Ost) or BSc (Ost) after their name.


Once again the above information was taken from Backcare website.


Here is a little about Backcare;

BackCare was the brainchild of a local businessman, Stanley Grundy, who established the charity after suffering a back injury caused by a sailing accident. At the time, he was concerned about the lack of information and support for back pain sufferers at the time. For nearly 50 years BackCare has been dedicated to educating the public throughout the UK and further afield in ways of preventing and alleviating back pain. The charity aims to significantly reduce the burden of back & neck pain by providing information, guidance and advice to all people and organisations those affected by such pain.




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