Chiropractor: How is it Different from the Osteopath?

Updated on February 24, 2019

The practice of osteopaths

Osteopaths work on the body as a whole. They concentrate their efforts not only on the spine but also on the joints, ligaments, muscles and even the skull. Finally, vertebral manipulations account for only 10% of their activity. 

They most often use massage techniques, but they can also use less gentle techniques. Osteopaths actually have a global vision of the body: localized dysfunction is not only treated in the place where the pain manifests but can find its cause elsewhere in the body. The purpose of osteopathy is to restore the overall health of the patient and to treat sinusitis, ear infections, headaches, and respiratory problems.

The practice of chiropractors

In contrast, chiropractors do not manipulate almost at the level of the spine. They focus on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system, and its ability to maintain or restore good health and overall well-being. 

The manipulations of the chiropractors are precise and only target a restricted area, the vertebral manipulations represent besides 90% of their activity. As a result, they are considered specialists in the spine and often show great precision. 

Chiropractic is mainly indicated to detect subluxations of the spine, corrected by pressures and adjustments, but it is also effective to relieve some chronic disorders such as vertigo, tinnitus, digestive disorders, gynecological or urinary.

However, despite these differences, nothing prevents practitioners from developing a particular approach and expertise, so a chiropractor and an osteopath may have similar approaches and vice versa.

Bramalea Chiropractic is one of the best chiropractor clinic in Canada. Chiropractors and osteopaths do not have the same training

The training of osteopaths

There are many osteopathic schools and a multitude of different formations. Training can be full-time, part-time, or university-based. In addition, there is no specific legislation that governs the training of osteopaths: it can last from 3 to 6 years. 

On average, it is estimated that most good schools provide between 4,200 and 5,000 hours of training. Thus, one can have a very different experience from one osteopath to another, especially since some can also be masseurs-physiotherapists, doctors or even from other regulated health professions. 

For all cervical manipulations, the osteopath needs a certificate issued by the patient’s doctor. In addition, he can not take care of babies under 6 months or use instruments.

Training of chiropractors

Chiropractors school provides 5,500 hours of training spread over 6 years of standardized studies at the international level. These standardized training guarantees equal quality of service regardless of the chiropractor consulted. 

In Quebec, it takes five years of study after the CEGEP at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, followed by 18 months of practice in the clinic, to obtain his undergraduate doctorate in chiropractic. The training is accredited by the Canadian Council for Teaching Chiropractic (CCEC). Because of his training, the chiropractor can handle cervical without the doctor’s prescription and use instruments.

Finally, the two professions are not represented: the 1st January 2014, there were 21 095 600 osteopaths against chiropractors in France. Despite these differences, chiropractors and osteopaths are both professionals indicated to treat the most common back problems. Osteopath or chiropractor, the most important is finally the confidence we have in a professional.

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