Is Osteopathic Manipulation the Same as Chiropractic Care?


Osteopathic manipulation is a hands on treatment method used to treat a wide variety of ailments. A chiropractor by definition is ‘a practitioner of the system of integrative medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints.’ Most doctors trained in OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment) this use it to help diagnose and prevent disease and help your body function properly.

Everyone experiences aches, pains, and discomfort at times, but when prescriptions and traditional medical care aren’t treating the symptoms anymore, many people start to research other options. You may have heard of a chiropractor or osteopath in your search, but how do you know which one you need?

·         Chiropractor – Although not technically medical doctors, chiropractors do go through extensive medical training. Becoming a chiropractor requires no less than seven years of focused schooling (an undergraduate degree followed by four years of chiropractic training), special credentials, and a state license before they can become a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine. Chiropractors view the body holistically, which means simply put that they treat the body as a single entity, rather than separate systems. Chiropractors tend to focus on natural remedies and usually don’t recommend surgery or prescriptions.

·         Osteopath – Osteopathic physicians follow much of the same path as a traditional medical doctor – including pre-med classes, four years of medical school and 3-7 years of residency, however instead of becoming a Doctor of Medicine, or M.D., they become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Like an M.D., an osteopath can prescribe medicine and referrals for surgical procedures as they see fit. They tend to focus mainly on osteopathic manipulation.

The main difference between chiropractors and osteopaths is the degree they hold. The other bigger difference is the type of treatment they dispense. Chiropractors are more likely to use chiropractic adjustments to correct misalignments of the joints, while osteopaths tend to focus more on osteopathic manipulation of the soft tissues through stretching and massage. These treatments encourage your body to heal on its own by ensuring everything is lined up and balanced appropriately. Anyone, at any age can benefit from osteopathic manipulation. It is typically used to treat things like lower back pain, or neck pain, but even children can benefit from this therapy. The beauty of OMT is that the doctor can adjust it to fit the patient’s individual needs.

Dr April Harris is a graduate of The Helms Medical Institute, where she received her training in Medical Acupuncture. Dr. Harris is also board certified in Family Practice and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment with Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine. If you need someone with extensive knowledge in osteopathic manipulation you don’t have to look any further! Give Galen Acupuncture and Osteopathic Medicine a call today and see how we can help you – (785) 393-1108.