Understanding Your Care Options: Chiropractor vs. Osteopath Explained

Navigating through the realms of healthcare to find the appropriate treatment for musculoskeletal issues can be daunting, especially when faced with options like osteopaths and chiropractors. Both professionals offer distinct approaches to enhancing bodily function and alleviating discomfort. Yet, the difference between osteopath and chiropractor practices may not be clear to everyone. This guide aims to delineate the distinctive traits and services offered by each, aiding in your decision on whether to consult a chiropractor or osteopath.

Who Is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a health care professional whose training specialization involves restoring body functions on the spine and other joints. They also understand the function of the ligaments, tendons, bones, and muscles, making them suitable for the treatment of injuries in any of these parts. Chiropractors undergo more than seven years of training. One also needs special credentials and state licensing before they can practice as a chiropractor.

Who Is an Osteopath?

An osteopath, while also concentrating on the body’s musculoskeletal system, encompasses a broader scope. They not only focus on joints but extend their attention to muscles, bones, and tissues. Osteopathic treatment entails physical manipulation, stretching, and massage to encourage the body’s ability to heal itself.

What Is the Difference Between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath?

The two healthcare professions share some similarities, including the length of time needed to complete the focused courses that make one a specialist. However, there are major differences between the two specializations. A chiropractor graduates with a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree, but their specialization entails providing alternative medicine and therapies.

On the other hand, osteopaths graduate with a medical degree that also earns them the right to practice medicine by writing patient prescriptions. Osteopaths will also make surgical recommendations for patients, while chiropractors do not have that capacity. The differences between these two professions also emerge in their interventions. Chiropractors use a chiropractic adjustment to restore damaged joints.

Are There Any Similarities?

Even though there are identifiable differences between chiropractic and osteopathic medicine, there are quite a number of similarities. Many of the courses defining each specialization are similar. These professionals will study anatomy, biology, and diagnostic imaging before they are qualified to practice. The two professions also require a state license before one can be allowed to offer their services. Finally, both professionals focus on restoring the body as a whole and not focusing on restoring the injured parts only.


For those residing in Colorado Springs, Radix Chiropractic offers exceptional chiropractic services. Emphasizing holistic approaches, we promote wellness and overall health improvement, embodying a perfect choice for anyone seeking a dedicated chiropractor in Colorado Springs, CO, to navigate through the recovery journey.