Difference between Chiropractor and Osteopath

General physicians can treat regular injuries and medical issues but you might need to hire the services of a specialist for certain types of health issues. Different professional medical trainers tender diverse injuries to human bodies. Chiropractors and osteopaths are such medical practitioners which cater only certain types of bodily injuries. These two professions are mostly coupled together as one due to the huge similarity of their job type. However, chiropractors and osteopaths have different manipulation practices and the ways to treatment. Basically both these professionals work upon bodily manipulation and musculoskeletal injuries. There might be many similarities between them but there are also some huge differences between these two professions.

Chiropractors are complementary and alternative medicine health care professionals who deal with diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of such problems upon general health of individuals.

Osteopaths also relate to alternative healthcare, emphasising on the interlationship between structure and function of the human body, along with the body’s ability to heal itself. Osteopathy aims at facilitating the healing process of the body by practicing manual and manipulative therapies.


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    Chiropractors have to undertake specialised educational requirement before becoming a professional practitioner. Students need to take two-year or four-year undergraduate degree programs before they can attend a specialising medical school. Chiropractor students need not to undertake the Medical College Admissions Test. However, like osteopathy students, chiropractor students also need to pass the national and state board examinations in the state they desire to practice their skills. Chiropractors treat several musculoskeletal disorders by manually realigning the spine, along with practices such as heat, water, light, massage, ultrasound, electricity and acupuncture. These professionals can specialise in sports medicine, neurology, orthopaedic, paediatrics, nutrition, internal disorder or diagnostic imaging.

    Image Courtesy: thephysiocentre.blogspot.com

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    For becoming an osteopath, you need to undergo the Medical College Admission Test and further spend four years studying at a medical school. Like chiropractors, osteopaths also have to pass the state board examination within the state they wish to practice professionally. Due to their extra eight years’ of experience through internships and residencies, osteopaths are considered to be complete physicians and can perform surgeries and prescribe medication. They focus on realigning the spine by additional techniques, such as stretching and exercise. Osteopaths specialise in areas such as family medicine, general internal medicine, obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics, emergency medicine, cardiovascular surgery, psychiatry and geriatrics.

    Image Courtesy: lotuschiropractic.co.nz

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