The greatest difference is the extend of training and scope of practice. Chiropractors are not physicians and do not complete residency training in a hospital. Their practice typically emphasizes working with the spine and spinal nerves to improve health. They are not allowed to prescribe medications, perform surgery, practice obstetrics or any other branch of medicine. In contrast, DOs are interested in the anatomy and physiology of the entire body.
Most chiropractors focus on high-velocity, low amplitude adjustments (“cracking”). DOs may also use this, but it is one of many possible techniques, many of which are very gentle.
Osteopathy focuses on finding and fixing the cause of the structural and functional problem. Thereby, osteopathic treatments tend to be much less frequent as the patient experiences improvement in their symptoms.