Do I Need to See an Osteopath or Chiropractor?

Do I Need to See an Osteopath or Chiropractor?

Osteopath vs Chiropractor?

When you’re dealing with pain, be it acute or chronic, it can be hard to figure out which type of specialist you should go to. Some would recommend an osteopath while others swear by their chiropractor. To make it worse, there are people who erroneously use the term interchangeably.

So, who’s right and which type of specialist should you go to? It can be quite hard to think logically about which option is the right one for you while you’re in pain. That’s why this article is here to help you figure it out!

Difference between an Osteopath and Chiropractor

To understand which specialist you should go with, it’s essential to first grasp the importance of both practices as well as the differences between the two. The next two sections will lay things out in an easily digestible manner.


Osteopaths are specialists that focus on manual therapy to restore balance to your body. These specialists work under the methodology that every part of your body is connected from internal organs to soft tissues.

This means that osteopaths will take a holistic approach to pain management and rehabilitation which is often more effective than only treating the surface-level symptoms. Osteopathy is known for bringing long-term relief.

If you’ve ever wondered why an osteopath might take a look at your ankles or pelvis when your knee is the region in pain, now you know that it’s part of their job to dig deeper and treat the entire system rather than just a single sore spot.

These forms of therapy are safe for all ages since they’re non-invasive, don’t rely on any drugs that may be potentially addictive, and are comfortable for most people. Overall, it’s one of the best ways to get rid of pain without causing a whole new set of problems in the process.


Chiropractors have some things in common with osteopaths. For one, they also treat the musculoskeletal system. That being said, their focus lies more in diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions related to your spine.

Various conditions such as shoulder pain, knee pain, lower back pain, sciatica, and headaches can get treated by chiropractors. Chiropractic specialists use hands-on manipulation techniques to align the skeleton and muscles within your body, particularly in the spinal area.

There are many reasons why a patient may want to visit a chiropractor. These can range from rehabilitation to injury prevention and even an attempt at improving their athletic performance. Most doctors advise speaking to your general practitioner before going to a chiropractor.

Certain chiropractors cite misalignment as the cause for many issues and claim to treat problems as far-fetched as ADHD through their practice. Evidence supporting these extended treatment claims are scarce and in the early stages.

Osteopath vs Chiropractor – Which One Do I Need?

If you’re just dealing with pain and want to get back to a better quality of life, going to an osteopath is likely your best bet since they’ve studied key areas of anatomy. However, if your doctor specifically suggests a chiropractor for something like lower back pain, heed their advice.