Choosing between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor

Patients in Farnham, Surrey and Hampshire use both chiropractors and osteopaths but, regardless of title, it is important to find the individual practitioner that suits you.

The Chiropractor practices Chiropractic.

In general chiropractors tend to concentrate on the spine and nerve supply. The spine is made up of 24 bony segments called vertebrae. These protect the spinal cord and individual nerves branch out from between the segments to supply the rest of the body. These vertebrae can become misaligned or restricted and this can interfere with the nerve supply and cause pain and weakness in various parts of the body. Problems such as low back, neck or joint pain and injury can then occur.

Your McTimoney chiropractor is trained to correct misalignments using quick, gentle and accurate adjustments which ensure you experience maximum comfort.

Although the primary approach of chiropractors is manipulation of the spine, McTimoney is very much a whole-body approach.

I myself also incorporate, Afferent Input muscle testing plus many soft tissue techniques to release muscle tension and pain and to encourage blood flow and healing. This can work well along-side the manipulation which helps to remove the interference to the nerve supply.

The Osteopath practices Osteopathy.

Chiropractors and osteopaths are similar in many ways. Like chiropractors, osteopaths employ many different methods to help alleviate pain and dysfunction in the body. Osteopathic techniques include soft tissue release, mobilisation/manipulation of joints and interferential (using electrical impulses) amongst others. Osteopaths generally use “long-lever” manipulation where more force is used whereas McTimoney chiropractic adjustments are more specific and lighter.

My own system of treatment is usually a combination of either soft-tissue release or Bowen Therapy and then  McTimoney adjusting (light, specific manipulation). I will initially use Afferent Input Muscle Testing to assess where the weaknesses are and what their primary cause is.

In general chiropractors’ treatment times are shorter and more frequent but mine tend to be similar to osteopaths ie 30 minutes for follow-ups.

I have to stress that each osteopath and chiropractor will be unique depending on the system they have developed and their experience etc. The role of both practitioners is to alleviate pain and improve the function and quality of life of the patient.