Many people ask what the difference is between an osteopath and a chiropractor. This article will hopefully help to explain.

What does an Osteopath do?

An osteopath focuses on the relationship between the musculoskeletal system and overall health. An osteopath will look more at the muscles and how that affects joint mobility. Their aim is to restore muscle function that will improve joint mobility and thereby improve flexibility and reduce pain.

What does a Chiropractor do?

Chiropractors focus on paying attention to biomechanics. They believe the structure of the spine, and how well it functions, affects the musculoskeletal and neurological system. Chiropractors are ‘joint specific.’

What’s the difference in treatment?

Each practitioner from either profession has a different way of delivering treatment, but let’s look at some differences. The primary difference between chiropractic care and osteopathy is that, while chiropractors are primarily focused on the joints and spine, osteopaths are more concerned with the whole body and take on a more holistic approach.


  • aims to treat the body as a whole, looking at the structure of the body and the interdependence throughout the body
  • tend to engage in longer treatment sessions due to the nature of treatment focusing on muscles and joints
  • tends to treat a wider range of disorders
  • uses a greater variety of techniques to manipulate the body’s healing systems


  • treat pain (and sometimes other problems) by manipulating the spine
  • mainly focus on the alignment of the spine
  • may make use of tests such as x-rays and MRI scans