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What is a Doctor of Osteopathy vs. Chiropractor?

May 15, 2020

What is a Doctor of Osteopathy vs. Chiropractor?

Although chiropractors and doctors of osteopathy (DO) have similar roles and functions within a chiropractic office, their actual job roles overall are quite different. Both of these professionals have similar beliefs about spine health and how it impacts overall bodily health and function, but there are some fundamental differences in the way that they treat patients and the work that they perform. 

The Chiropractor

A chiropractor is trained in the area of biomechanics and is trained to treat pain by using spinal manipulation and other adjustment methods. These professionals believe that the spine and its function will affect the neurological and musculoskeletal system and that when the spine is properly aligned, the body will heal itself because everything is working as it should be. 

The Chiropractor

The biggest difference between a chiropractor and a DO is that chiropractors are not medically trained and cannot prescribe medications. Chiropractic care is simply focused around physical therapy to manipulate the spine and joints for improved overall health, not medically treating anyone for their various conditions. 

The Doctor of Osteopathy

While the DO also has the same fundamental beliefs and practices as a chiropractor, they have a little more responsibility and training involved in their position. Their field of study focuses on the overall health of the body and how that is impacted by the health of the musculoskeletal system. These professionals will have attended medical school, taken all necessary exams, and been licensed to work in the state as a medical professional. 

Similarities and Differences

While both of these professionals support spine health as a means to overall health, they do have slightly different roles and approaches in the office setting. Their primary goal is to assist you in alleviating pains and discomfort. However, some may also be looking for other ways to assist you, including to find relief from digestive issues, circulation issues, and chronic headaches. 

Essentially, chiropractors are a more limited version of DOs, who have a greater selection of techniques for manipulation and a better understanding of the human body and how it works. While chiropractic care typically only focuses on spinal alignment and adjustments, osteopaths can treat a variety of disorders, including muscle and joint pain. 

If you are looking into seeing one of these professionals, you will be sure to find some great results if you take a little time to be kind. Think about the issues that you are having and determine whether your visit is best suited for a doctor of osteopathy or if a chiropractor will do. 





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