What is the difference between Osteopathy and Chiropractic?
Both osteopathy and chiropractic practitioners work on a patient's musculo-skeletal system. They use their hands to diagnose and treat structural and functional problems by working with the bones, muscles and connective tissue.
Osteopathy and chiropractic share a common origin. Their roots can be found in traditional "bone setting," and both were formalised in the USA in the late 19th century. Daniel Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, is said to have observed the teaching of Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathy, before setting up his own school.
In some countries, such as Australia, there is a combined regulatory body and students graduate from University with an Osteopathic and Chiropractic qualification having studied both forms of diagnosis and treatment. In the UK there are two separate regulatory bodies, the General Osteopathic Council and the General Chiropractic Council.
The term "manipulative therapy" refers to both
osteopathy and chiropractic and sometimes to physiotherapy.Stretching a joint within its full range of movement is know as mobilisation. Osteopaths use mobilisation more than chiropractors. To restore normal function a joint might be moved just beyond its normal range of movement so that it is "manipulated" or "adjusted".
Traditionally osteopaths favour leverage techniques, whereas chiropractors might use direct rapid thrusts, to produce the characteristic "click".
Both professions take a case history and undertake a patient examination. Both use manual palpation (feeling the spine and joints while in motion) to diagnose abnormal or restricted movement. Chiropractors generally tend to rely more on diagnostic procedures, such as x-rays, MRI scans, and blood and urine tests.
There is generally considerable overlap of techniques and ideas. In the UK the two professions probably have more similarities than they have differences.
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