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Do I need a chiropractor or an osteopath?

chiropractor joint pain
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Do I need a Chiropractor or an Osteopath? Top 7 Differences

chiropractor joint pain

Understanding Osteopaths

An osteopath specializes in osteopathic medicine, focusing on the treatment of muscles, joints, and bones. They use a holistic approach, looking at the entire body rather than just the problem area.

Osteopaths diagnose and treat various conditions related to the musculoskeletal system using hands-on techniques like stretching, massaging, and joint articulation.

Their goal is to promote healing and overall well-being by enhancing the body’s natural self-healing abilities. They are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).

Understanding Chiropractors

A chiropractor focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. Regulated by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), chiropractors complete a four to five-year degree program.

They use spinal manipulation and other techniques to reduce pain, improve function, and increase mobility. Chiropractors often work in private practice and patients can refer themselves.

They are well-known for treating back and neck pain and provide advice on exercise, diet, and lifestyle, along with rehabilitation programs to prevent recurring issues.

7 Key Differences Between Osteopaths and Chiropractors

1. X-rays:

  • Chiropractors often use X-rays to check for spinal misalignments.
  • Osteopaths prefer to minimize X-ray use and focus on functional issues like stiffness or weakness.

2. Treatment Approach:

  • Chiropractors focus on joint and bone misalignments, using manipulation techniques.
  • Osteopaths look at functional limitations and generally use gentler, less frequent manipulations.

3. Session Length:

  • Chiropractic sessions are usually short (less than 15 minutes) and often require regular visits.
  • Osteopathic sessions tend to be longer, aiming to fix problems in fewer sessions.

4. NHS Involvement:

  • Osteopaths are more commonly integrated into the NHS framework as allied healthcare practitioners.
  • Chiropractors are rarely used in the NHS.

5. Package of Care:

  • Chiropractors often offer pre-sold packages of care, such as 10 or 20 sessions.
  • Osteopaths aim to relieve pain quickly and encourage exercises between sessions.

6. Focus Areas:

  • Chiropractors primarily treat back and neck pain.
  • Osteopaths treat a broader range of musculoskeletal issues and consider the body as a whole.

7. Patient Interaction:

  • Chiropractors may see multiple patients at the same time and rely more on maintenance adjustments.
  • Osteopaths usually spend more time with each patient per session and focus on solving the issue rather than long-term maintenance.

Remember, these points can vary with each practitioner. Some osteopaths may use maintenance adjustments, and some chiropractors may adopt a more holistic approach. It’s best to get a good recommendation to find the right practitioner for your needs. Learn more about What is the Difference Between Osteopath and Chiropractor

If you’re experiencing acute or chronic pain, call us at Inc-Health. Chiropractor Ida Norgaard is here to help you recover from pain and achieve peak performance. Contact us at 020 7931 9572 or click here to book online.

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Need a Chiropractor?

Ida Norgaard is Here to Help You

As a chiropractor, I help individuals improve their overall health and well-being. Together, we work to relieve pain, enhance mobility, and boost your quality of life through advanced chiropractic techniques.


  1. Chiropractor

    I think If you frequently wake up with back pain, leg pain, or neck pain due to poor sleeping positions, seeing a chiropractor might be your best option for relief. on the other hand, if you are dealing with issues like infertility, digestive problems or even a common cold, an osteopath could be a more suitable choice for your needs.

    • Ida

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your insights. As a chiropractor, I agree that if you frequently wake up with back pain, leg pain, or neck pain due to poor sleeping positions, seeing a chiropractor might indeed be your best option for relief. On the other hand, it’s true that an osteopath can be more suitable for addressing issues like infertility, digestive problems, or even a common cold. Each professional has their own specialties, and it’s important to choose the right one based on your specific needs.


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