What is the Difference Between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath?

You’ve woken up with a stiff neck, last night at 5-a-side your knee went and now you can’t walk, or sciatic pain has been growing steadily for the past few weeks and now you want treatment to help alleviate the pain, but you’re not sure who to ask – a chiropractor or an osteopath.

We understand the confusion, to the outside eye there doesn’t seem to be much difference. And it’s true, due to advancements in the understanding of the human body, there are more similarities between chiropractors and osteopaths than there are differences. However, differences still exist. In this post, we’d like to explore a few of those.

The Basics


Chiropractics was founded in America in 1895. We focus mainly on the spine, and making sure your spine is in alignment. We believe that when your spine, which houses the central nervous system and joins major ‘junctions’ in the body, is in alignment then your body will be in a better situation to heal itself. This is why chiropractic treatment can be used to treat a host of issues, not just back and neck aches.


Founded at a similar time to Chiropractics but focuses on the musculoskeletal system, rather than the spine, as an indicator and influencer on overall health.

Similarities and Differences

As mentioned above, the two professions share a lot of similarities – both focus on improving health and treating specific conditions through various forms of manipulation. However there are a couple of small differences:

Treatment time

As, once properly diagnosed, chiropractors ‘adjust’ the spine. This can be done in a relatively short amount of time. Whereas osteopaths tend to look at a few different things at once. This means chiropractics tends to be ‘little and often’ whereas osteopaths tend to be ‘longer and more infrequent’.

Areas of the body

Chiropractors tend to focus primarily on the spine – we believe that once this is in alignment your body will move and behave more naturally allowing your aches and pains to remedy themselves. Osteopaths, on the other hand, will look at the musculoskeletal system as a whole and aim to tackle problems head on.

So, Which Should You Choose?

As both chiropractors and osteopaths can treat similar things, the choice comes down to you, the patient. We simply advise that you see a practitioner who takes the time to listen to you and has your best interests at heart. If you feel you are being ignored and that the treatment provided is generic and not effective, then it probably won’t be.

To book an appointment at Morley Chiropractic Clinic, just call us on 0113 2383 693.

Contact Us

0113 238 3693


Bruntcliffe Road
West Yorkshire
LS27 0LQ

Opening Times

  • Monday: 8am to 7pm
  • Tuesday: 8am to 7pm
  • Wednesday: 8am to 7pm
  • Thursday: 8am to 7pm
  • Friday: 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed