There is often confusion in determining the difference between the osteopathic adjustments used by doctors of osteopathic medicine and the adjustments used by chiropractors. Both take a whole-body, wellness approach to treating patients through manipulation; however, there are some fundamental differences in the way they achieve this.

The healthcare providers at Hillside Family Medicine LLC & Occupational Medicine in Anchorage, AK, also take a whole-body approach to their patients, providing family and occupational medicine at their state-of-the-art clinic. Below they help highlight the differences between osteopathic adjustments and chiropractic adjustments.  

What’s the Difference?

ostheopathic adjustmentChiropractors use manual manipulation to adjust the spine to treat issues and disorders. They believe that once the spine is aligned all other bodily systems and functions will align as well. The adjustments they use are typically high-velocity, controlled, rhythmic, thrusting motions applied to the vertebrae. The adjustments are usually applied to individual joints geared towards the relief of pain or discomfort, improving motion in the neck and spine. 

Osteopathic physicians will also use manual manipulation in their treatments, but it isn’t just focused on the spine. They make adjustments focusing on joints, muscles, and bones, and incorporate other therapeutic options like a myofascial release that focuses on releasing tightness and muscle shortness and can help with misalignment as well as headaches and back pain. They may use massage, and soft tissue techniques as well. Unlike a chiropractor, an osteopathic physician either applies pressure directly to an affected area or applies pressure away from that area in order to put the tissue at ease. Since osteopathic physicians are also medical doctors, conventional methods of therapy can also be included in the patient treatment plan giving the osteopath options to custom fit patient needs. 

If you are interested in learning more about osteopathic medicine and adjustments and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Scott DeBerard, the on-staff doctor of osteopathic medicine at Hillside Family Medicine LLC & Occupational Medicine, call (907) 344-0200. For more information about other clinic services such as at-home sleep studies, holter monitors, travel medicine, and Japanese Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, Rabies, and Typhoid vaccines, visit them online.