For those who are not familiar with the medical industry, understanding the difference between a DO and an MD or Chiropractor can be a bit confusing. A DO is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, whereas an MD is a Doctor of Allopathic Medicine. There is no difference in what services either type of physician can provide. One is not better than the other and the vast majority of their training is nearly identical. While likely an oversimplification, the primary difference between DO and MD training is a matter of philosophy, where the DO perspective views all systems of the body as interconnected pieces of the larger system. In addition, DOs undergo a required 200 hours of training in hands-on diagnosis and treatment referred to as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.
How Are DOs Different from Chiropractors?
A DO is a fully licensed physician who is credentialed to do anything an MD can do. A chiropractor, however, is not a physician. They have a separate type of license which requires less education and training, limiting their scope of treatment. As a physician, a DO can prescribe any medication required for treatment, order any tests or advanced images required for diagnosis and refer to any specialty appropriate to treat a patient, in addition to providing hands-on treatment of musculoskeletal tissues.
Chiropractic care often focuses on bone alignment and High-Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA) techniques (Popping and cracking). This can provide immediate relief, but the root dysfunction often pulls bones back out of alignment requiring repeated treatments to maintain the desired result. Biweekly follow up treatments are typically required.
While HVLA techniques can be a useful tool, OMT performed by a DOs typically start by addressing soft tissue-like muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. This allows the physician to address the root cause of the dysfunction, achieving similar pain relief, but with longer lasting results. There are certainly exceptions but follow up visits are seldom more frequent than two weeks apart.
Differences in What to Expect
A small fraction of DOs dedicate sufficient time to become experts in this hands-on skillset for diagnosis and treatment of tissue related injury and dysfunction. At Restoration Osteopathic Medicine, our physicians are among the best in the country at this very skillset. In fact, students travel from medical schools across the United States and in some cases, the world for an opportunity to train with Dr. Works.
Our physicians will utilize their extraordinary skillsets and every appropriate diagnostic tool to define the root cause of your pain or dysfunction and create a treatment plan to improve your condition. These treatment plans very often involve stretching, massage or exercise techniques to alter physiology. Patient participation is critical to achieving a lasting resolution of any dysfunction.
Our Health Commitment to You
Our goal is to get you PAIN-FREE!
That’s not always a realistic goal but we want to help our patients achieve the best quality of life possible. Whether we treat you here in our clinic or help you find the right specialist to treat your condition, we are absolutely committed to finding answers to the origins of your pain, even when they’re elusive.
In our clinic:
- We are committed to evidence-based best practice.
- “Nothing opens someone’s wallet like pain.” Patients in pain are among the most likely to be taken advantage of with gimmicky devices or cash pay treatments that have no evidence of improved outcomes.
- While our physicians have unique skillsets, the work they do is 100% rooted in evidence-based medicine.
- You will always be treated with respect.
- Your physician will truly listen.
- Your appointment will not be rushed. (though there are time limitations)
- You will partner with your physician in improving your pain and overall health.[MR1]
To learn more about our DOs and how they can help you find relief, contact us today to schedule an appointment