Chiropractic and Osteopathy. What Is The Difference?
I have a really important topic to discuss today and that is, what is the difference between chiropractic and osteopathy? This is a question I get from a lot of people in different places. I got it in Europe a lot recently when I was on a trip there. The traditional osteopath in Europe mostly manipulate. The actual application of hands looks a lot like what chiropractic looks like.
The underpinning principles are actually pretty similar. However, there’s one fundamental divergent uptake that is applied and it’s very, very important to realize. One applies differently than the other for different objectives. So let me tell you a story. My mom doesn’t have access to a chiropractor in the small town in France where she lives, but there’s a classical osteopath, a manipulating osteopath.
She has now been going to see the osteopath for several years and he does a good job with her neck and her back where she’s had problems. She’s in her 80s and you know, she needs maintenance care like, I need maintenance care and you probably need maintenance care. However, she also has other problems with balance and with her gait. I was really surprised because the osteopath, who’s by all appearance very qualified and really good at what he does never looked beyond the area that she had complained initially about.
He was really focused on that. He took really good care of those parts. But he never looked at the whole patient. Chiropractors look at the whole patient. Chiropractors don’t just say hey, let’s get initial relief. Physical therapists are going to do that and classical osteopaths are going to do that. Chiropractors are looking at the general patient because, long term health, long term benefit that an individual can draw from the type of care we give is absolutely magnified and much, much more important over the long term than it is over the short term.
So there is a use for physical therapy that’s totally separate from what chiropractic does. I refer to physical therapists for certain things because they do things I don’t do, but there is a whole universe of care, of comprehensive approach to patient care, lifelong well-being that only chiropractors provide. We’re the only ones interested in that. We’re the only ones with the tools to deal with that. We are the only ones who have the technology to measure and quantify and qualify the progress over time.
We can help you feel better. That’s great. I love doing that. I love helping people go from ouch to wow. However, there is another level and that level is the real brass ring. That’s where it’s really at for chiropractic, where we’re unique, where no one else competes, and that is that in the long term your health and well-being are going to continue to benefit in a massive way from ongoing regular chiropractic care.
So let’s think about it this way, my mom was benefiting short term from the osteopath intervention, however, she had other problems. A chiropractor would have nailed that right away before it became an issue where she actually fell and hurt herself. Now, let’s think about this. Feeling better today, feeling better over the short term is really good and really important. I can help you do that. However, let’s think about where you’re going to be at five, 10, 20 years down the road.
If we can do something to have you experience a higher, more fulfilling quality of life over the long term so you can retire and enjoy life and not fall apart the day you retire. So that you can enjoy your children growing and then enjoy their children. SO that you can do those trips you’ve always dreamed of doing but never really had time for. So that you can continue running as you get older and you can continue doing the activities you enjoy your hobbies, whether it’s knitting or rock climbing. So that you can continue enjoying living life independently and on your own terms.
So that you can continue working. How about going to work and not hurting all the time? How about not depending on drugs all the time? That is the brass ring of chiropractic care. That’s where it’s at. And that is where chiropractic delivers beyond the short-term relief and into continued improvement. That is what I have seen as the pivotal difference between chiropractic and osteopathy.