Osteo & Chiro: Solutions or Sorcery?

Welcome to Medshop Australia's blog series, 'Did you Know?' Where we discuss topics of intrigue and medical facts that you may or may not be aware of. This week we delve into the realm of alternative medicine and learn more about osteopathic and chiropractic medicine. We look at the history of these practices as well as the similarities and the differences between them.     Osteo & Chiro     Osteopathic and chiropractic clinics can be found all around Australia, yet for some people, these practices are shrouded in mystery. There are many people who are simply not aware of the services being offered by these practices, or what osteopathic or chiropractic practitioners actually do. Neither osteopathic or chiropractic medicine are particularly new concepts. Osteopathy was founded in 1860. Chiropractic medicine was founded in 1895    


[caption id="attachment_3527" align="aligncenter"]osteopathy-1207800_960_720 (Source: pixabay.com)[/caption]     Osteopathy was founded by the medical doctor and surgeon, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. After Still lost his three children to spinal meningitis, he became disenchanted by conventional medicine and sought to develop a more holistic approach to healthcare. From this, osteopathy was born, based on the philosophy that because all the systems in the body are interrelated, healthcare needs to address the whole person, not just an isolated symptom. Modern day osteopathy is concerned with strengthening the relationship between the various bodily systems to promote optional functioning of the body. It utilises manipulative therapy including massage and other treatment modalities to manage muscular-skeletal health related pathology. There is a focus on positively affecting the lymphatic, circulatory and nervous system through these treatments. Again taking into account the connections between the various systems of the body.    


[caption id="attachment_3531" align="aligncenter"]3813005798_30f42593ce_b (Source: flickr.com)[/caption]     Chiropractic medicine was founded by Daniel David Palmer. Palmer was originally a practitioner of magnetic healing when he met a janitor who was experiencing hearing difficulties. Palmer claimed to have corrected the janitor's hearing problems after adjusting his spine. The practice of chiropractic was then developed on the basis that the misalignment of the bones in the body, in particular, the spine, was seen as the underlying cause of various disease. Modern chiropractic treatment is concerned with treating mechanical issues that affect the muscular-skeletal system. There remains a distinct interest in addressing issues relating to the spine. Treatment involves manipulation of the joints and muscles through the use of massage and other physical techniques. It may also include lifestyle and exercise treatment plans, designed to aid treatment and recovery.    

Australia's Take

[caption id="attachment_3536" align="aligncenter"]bigstock-Portrait-of-young-woman-doctor-70264798 (Source: healthstaffrecruitment.com.au)[/caption]     In Australia practitioners of both osteopathic and chiropractic medicine are government accredited and can be referred to as doctors. To become an osteopath or chiropractor in Australia students need to undertake a degree program of usually five years full time to qualify. Both osteopaths and chiropractors practice alternative medicine and neither use conventional pharmaceutical drugs in their treatments. They are both concerned with the management and treatment of muscular-skeletal health.    

Key Points of Difference

[caption id="attachment_3551" align="aligncenter"]shutterstock_142466296-e1443126049363 (Source: bullhorn.com)[/caption]     Chiropractors are predominately focused on the treatment of mechanical issues relating to the major skeletal structures of the body, the spine, the pelvis, the skull and the joints. The goal is to increase functionality and mobility while decreasing pain and disorder. This is achieved through mechanical manipulation techniques, specific movements and exercises. They also use X-ray imaging as part of their diagnostic process. Osteopaths are equally concerned with issues of the skeletal system but are more focused on the links between the skeletal, muscular, nervous, lymphatic and circulatory systems and the ways in which the functionality of these systems are interrelated. There is a greater focus on muscle tissue and connective tissue therapy. They may also pay more attention to the internal organs and focus on dietary modification as one of their treatment modalities. Medshop Australia is proud to support osteopathic and chiropractic students and we have put together student kits to meet the requirements of most university osteopathy and chiropractic courses. We also have a new and exciting option to build your own kit, this way you can choose exactly what you need and you won't need to double up on anything you already have. Like our pics? Come check out our Pinterest page. Come Join us on Pinterest!
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