What is The Difference Between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?

Most people don’t know the difference between an osteopath and chiropractor. They both have a lot of similarities, but what are the differences?

What is the difference between an osteopath and chiropractor — it’s a question the general public tend to not know the answer to. The two professions are often easily confused, due to their similarities, but their treatments can differ.

To best answer the question, we must first discover what each professional does. Keep reading to find out more about each industry and how they differ.

What is The Difference Between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?

The main difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor professions is chiropractic care focuses on healing the joints and spine through movements and massage, whereas osteopaths are more concerned with the body as a whole, including its structure. 

Osteopaths use a variety of treatments to treat concerns, where chiropractors mainly focus on adjusting the vertebrae to help potentially heal ailments.

What is an Osteopath?

An osteopath is a doctor of osteopathic medicine. But, what is osteopathic medicine? Osteopaths believe in treating the body as a whole, not focusing on the elimination of single diseases and ailments. They are trained physicians who can practise their holistic approach in almost every specialty. 

Most of the role relies on finding external environment and lifestyle factors of a person’s life that may be contributing to their health. Recommendations are then made on how lifestyle changes may alter the patient’s overall health and wellbeing.


Frequently Asked Questions about Osteopaths

What is the difference between an osteopath and a naturopath? 

Whilst the definition of osteopath may remind you of that of a naturopath, they are very different professions. Naturopaths do not have a medical governing body and often are untrained in the medicine.

How do you become an osteopath in Australia?

To become an osteopath in Australia, you must complete a Bachelor’s degree (ideally in a medical field) and then a Master of Osteopathy. The Bachelor degree will traditionally take three years and a Masters one to two on top of this time, so you can expect to complete around five years of study before you can practise as an osteopath. You must also obtain a AHPRA registration, which is required to be renewed annually. 

How much do osteopaths make?

According to Seek.com.au, the average salary for an osteopath in Australia is between $65,000 and $75,000 annually.

What does an osteopath treat?

Osteopaths commonly help treat back pain and postural rooted problems amongst other medical ailments. This includes issues caused by pregnancy, work strain, arthritis and minor spinal injuries.

What is a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors traditionally diagnose and treat issues relating to or stemming from the musculoskeletal system, such as nerve issues and general health. They are commonly called upon for ailments such as back pain, back pain and headaches. Treatment often consists of massage-like pressure application to manipulate and stimulate muscle and nerve function — commonly called spinal manipulation.


Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractors

What condition can chiropractors treat?

Chiropractors can treat a variety of ailments including:

  • Lower back pain.
  • Leg pain.
  • Neck pain.
  • Repetitive strains.
  • Headaches. 
  • Sports injuries.
  • Arthritic pain.

To find out which other ailments your chiropractor can treat, it’s best to get in contact with them directly.

How do you become a chiropractor in Australia?

To become a chiropractor in Australia you must undertake five years of tertiary education. This includes a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science, then a two-year master’s study in clinical chiropractic. During this time, you’ll also be required to complete multiple work placements in the field.

How much do chiropractors make?

In Australia, the average salary for a chiropractor is $65,000 to $75,000 annually according to Seek.com.au.

Get in contact with your local chiropractor to find out how they can help you.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not replace professional medical advice. Neither Localsearch nor the author are responsible for any misuse of any information within this article. Results of any medical treatment will vary depending on the person. For advice specific to you, please speak to your local general practitioner.


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      Katrina Stapleton

      Senior Digital Content Specialist

      Katrina Stapleton is a Senior Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch with a background in social media and marketing. Although most of her experience lies in the entertainment sector, Katrina has written content for a vast array of industries including tourism, hospitality, retail and property development. Katrina is an avid dog lover, who finds a way to weave her fur-baby, Mylo, into most conversations. Aside from being a self-confessed bookworm, Katrina can often be found checking out the Gold Coast's latest coffee nook, paddle-boarding or baking up a storm in her free time — all with Mylo by her side, of course! As a Senior Digital Content Specialist, Katrina enjoys sharing her knowledge and passions on the Localsearch Blog.