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Chiropractors and Osteopaths for Dancer's Wellbeing

Posted Mar 28 2008 10:53am
Whether you are seeking rehabilitation from a dance injury or just want to maintain proper skeletal alignment, both chiropractors and osteopaths can correct alignment issues and improve a dancer's wellbeing. These health practitioners can facilitate an injured dancer's return to performing with full function, as well as maintain the health of uninjured dancers.

So what is an osteopath; a chiropractor; and what is the difference between the two?

A Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) is a fully licensed medical doctor who focuses mainly on the musculoskeletal system, which influences all the other body systems. Chiropractors, on the other hand, spend two to three years studying to become licensed practitioners and are more concerned with the alignment of the spine and body.

As an M.D., an osteopath can practice all medical and surgical specialties and write prescriptions. Osteopaths are also required to have more than 350 hours of training to develop skills in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), which involves applying precice amount of force to release compression in muscles and joints, promote normal movement of bodily fluids and tissues, and engage the body's natural healing potential. Additionally, osteopaths usually use the techniques of stretching, pressure and Cranial Osteopathy (focused on the cranial bones of the head), as well.

Chiropractors commonly focus on spinal and neck manipulation, or controlled force to the joints, but many receive additional certifications to practice on the extremities, such as feet and hands. Chiropractic medicine is based on the principle that spinal joint misalignments interfere with the nervous system and can result in lower resistance to disease and many different conditions of diminished health. The chiropractic approach to health care stresses the patient’s overall health. Chiropractors, as opposed to medical osteopaths, more regularly utilize eastern medicine practices, recommending natural supplements, products and homeopathic medicines. Many chiropractors use the techniques of active isolated stretching, massage, pressure point therapy (acupressure), muscle electrical stimulation and ultrasound, as well.
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