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  • Writer's pictureDr. George Cheriyan, DO

Osteopath vs Chiropractor

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Osteopath vs chiropractor - are they similar or different?

If you’re suffering from back pain, foot and ankle-related pain, or other bodily discomforts, you’re probably researching other options, especially when prescription drugs and pain-relief ointments aren’t working.

During your search, you’ve found out that both a chiropractor and an osteopath in Garden city or Manhattan may be able to help.

So what is the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor? Which of them should you visit? Let’s dive in!

Patient in Need of An OMM Doctor Trying to Decided Between Osteopaths vs Chiropractors

What is an Osteopathic Doctor?

An osteo healer prevents, diagnoses, and treats illness using hands-on techniques such as osteopathic manipulation to help the body heal itself, resulting in reduced pain, enhanced circulation of body fluids, improved mobility, and restored body functions.

Unlike medical doctors, osteo healers like Dr. George Cheriyan use a whole-body approach to ensure sound health in the body and mind. They believe that the bones, muscles, tissue, and ligaments work together. See more details on what an osteopathic doctor is.

What is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor believes that spinal and joint misalignment affects your nerves and causes pain. They make spinal adjustments to improve the patient’s health and body functions. Like osteo healers, chiropractors also focus on the whole body as a single unit.

Osteopath vs Chiropractor - Are There Similarities?

Before examining the differences between an osteopath and a chiropractor, let me point out a few similarities.

Both osteopaths and chiropractors adopt a whole-body approach. They believe in the body’s ability to heal itself. So if you complain of sharp pain from the foot, for example, both practitioners will expand treatment to other parts of the body to resolve the underlying ailment.

Differences Between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor

Education and Training Requirements

Only two doctors are licensed to practice in all 50 states - osteopathic doctors and medical doctors. Osteo healers and medical doctors receive similar training. They attend four years of medical school, complete internships and residencies, and specialize in various medical fields. For example, osteo healers can perform surgery and prescribe medications.

On the other hand, chiropractors are not doctors. While they receive training and hold a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree, they cannot perform surgery and prescribe drugs to patients.

Method of Treatment

A chiropractor mainly focuses on the back and spine and uses adjustments to correct misalignment. They believe that if the spine is aligned correctly, the body should be able to heal itself.

On the contrary, an osteo healer adopts a more holistic approach by focusing on the whole body. They focus on the prevention and well-being of the mind, body, and spirit and use several techniques and treatment options that involve the whole body to treat patients, not just the spine.

An osteo healer can also make lifestyle recommendations, including the diet you should be taking.


Another osteopath vs chiropractor difference is in diagnosis. Chiropractors use X-rays to see how the spine is aligned. On the contrary, an osteo healer will ask about your medical history to understand your general health and perform a physical examination of your body.

Should I Visit an Osteopath or a Chiropractor?

The answer depends on the type of pain you’re experiencing and the healing you want. For instance, if the pain is in your back and spine, you may want to see a chiropractor.

However, if you’re experiencing pain in other parts of the body or if the pain is linked to a more complex health issue, there’s no point in visiting a chiropractor. An osteo healer will be the best for you. If you’re unsure, you can discuss with both specialists and see which one has the better treatment solution to your problem.

Now that you understand the osteopath vs chiropractor differences and similarities, start by scheduling an appointment with an osteo healer. Feel the healing today!



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