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Chiropractic v Osteopathy

There are many osteopaths and chiropractic clinics in Hertfordshire, so what are the main differences?

To begin with the numbers are quite different. There are well over 2000 chiropractors, over 3600 osteopaths and over 39000 physiotherapists. Although numbers of the other professions continue to increase, physiotherapy remains the dominant profession in the UK.


indexOsteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints. Osteopaths believe that problems with the way bones, muscles and joints fit and work together can affect all other parts of the body. They believe their treatments allow the body to heal itself. Osteopaths use a range of techniques but do not use drugs or surgery. Osteopaths do a four year full time course in the UK (can be five year part time), they have no training in x-rays and are not allowed by the laws of the General Osteopathic Council to take x-rays.


As a Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Cairns has undertaken a five year postgraduate degree. A Bachelors of Science degree is required by chiropractic colleges in the United States before admittance. The course includes anatomy, physiology, bio-mechanics, radiology and two full years of pathology. This is most important because Dr. Cairns is able to take x-rays in our fully computerised x-ray suite and interpret the x-rays without waiting two weeks or more for the hospital. The two full years of pathology is also a very important distinction as this allows a Doctor of Chiropractic to clearly see when a patient needs to be returned to their general practitioner for further evaluation and when they should be able to start care straight away.

Chiropractic treatment focuses on the assessment of the spinal nerves and how mis-alignment of the spinal bones can interfere with the proper functioning of the spinal nerves. If nerve interference is detected gentle, safe movement of the spinal bones to re-align the spine will remove the interference and return the nerve to full function.

Chiropractic Website by Perfect Patients.