What is the difference between a D.O. and a chiropractor?

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The primary differences between an Osteopathic physician and a chiropractor are their level of training and the scope of their practices. A chiropractor is not a licensed physician and has not completed residency training in a hospital. The scope of chiropractic practice is defined by statute as “including the diagnosing and locating of misaligned or displaced vertebrae and, through manual manipulation and adjustment of the spine and other skeletal structures, treating disorders of the human body. The practice of chiropractic does not include the use of drugs or surgery, or the practice of osteopathy, obstetrics, or any other branch of medicine”. Chiropractic is primarily concerned with normalizing the alignment of the spine to influence the relationship between the spinal column and the nervous system. Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is based upon the principle that the human body possesses self healing/self regulating mechanisms that are the source of true healing. The focus in ...
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Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, taught that all disease was caused by a mal-alignment of the spine. He felt this in turn affected the spinal nerves and caused disease. Spinal manipulation was then viewed as the only valid therapeutic modality. Today, many chiropractors have widened their viewpoint but are limited by law to practicing manipulative procedures. A.T. Still, the founder of osteopathic medicine, taught that the body is a whole, it was self-regulating and has a tendency toward health, and that structure and function are interrelated. He taught us that proper structural alignment is an important component of health but not the only one. We use osteopathic manipulation to treat structural diseases, but recognize disease may be caused by any number of things and many treatment modalities are important. Today, D.O.s are fully licensed to practice all fields of medicine. We use all modern diagnostic tests and treatments, but tend to have a holistic viewpoint in our ... more

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