Osteopathy Overview

What is the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor

Catherine is our resident osteopath at George Morris Physiotherapy Wigan.

We are often asked what is the difference between and osteopath and a chiropractor.

Based on what we’ve read, is there any difference? Does it matter which you should see? Well, let’s look at some differences


Chiropractors aim to help with symptoms such as a pinched nerve, or other issues with the nervous system. They aim to help with specific treatments and manipulations based on an alignment of the spine. Chiropractors tend to be specifically focussed on treating muscle and joint pains, with a focus on adjustments to the vertebrae of the spine. The often treat lower back pain.

Osteopaths aim to treat the body as a whole, looking at the structure of the body and the interdependence throughout the body. Through this approach, an Osteopath will be able to treat a broader range of problems. An Osteopath will utilise a wider range of techniques to manipulate the body and will incorporate soft tissue and muscle manipulation in their approach.

Treatment from a Chiropractor will be relatively short, you may attend a session for a short treatment, which is likely to involve a specific adjustment, and then it’s all over until the next time. Your Osteopath will spend a longer amount of time with you, understanding your overall health and medical history. Osteopaths use manipulation to adjust the spine. Treatment tends to  last much longer and may be spread out over a longer period of time.