Osteopath or Chiropractor for Fibromyalgia Relief: Which Is Better?

A woman lays in bed on her phone while grasping her neck in pain from fibromyalgia because she hasn’t sought an osteopath or chiropractor for fibromyalgia relief.

For those dealing with fibromyalgia—a commonly misunderstood condition—even simple tasks like getting out of bed can be a monumental undertaking.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans struggling with this painful condition, chances are you’ve wondered whether you should seek care from an osteopath or chiropractor for fibromyalgia relief. In this article, we’ll explain why you should consider a chiropractor if you’re looking for practical, long-term relief from fibromyalgia. 

Osteopath or Chiropractor for Fibromyalgia Relief?

For a complex condition like fibromyalgia—a neurological disorder characterized by a wide range of symptoms and potential triggers—there are many options for medical care.

Two popular options involve osteopaths and chiropractors. While both are healthcare professionals who believe in a holistic approach to whole-body health and are equipped to manage fibromyalgia symptoms, they do so with varying focuses and methodologies.

Key Takeaway
While osteopaths and chiropractors are medical professionals with a musculoskeletal approach, they differ in scope as chiropractors focus mainly on the relationship between the spine and the body.


While providing the same medical care as standard medical doctors, osteopathy centers around osteopathic manipulative treatments (OMT), and osteopaths are trained to relieve musculoskeletal issues and pain related to joints, asthma, migraines, digestive disorders, and fibromyalgia.

Whether or not an osteopath can treat fibromyalgia depends on their study area, as some are more specialized in other areas, such as labor and delivery or appendix removal. If they do specialize in fibromyalgia care, you can expect to experience any of the following treatments:

  • OMT: This hands-on approach involves gentle manipulation of the musculoskeletal system to improve joint mobility, reduce muscle spasms, alleviate muscle tension, and promote relaxation. 
  • Muscle Therapy: Osteopaths may also use other muscle therapies, such as myofascial release, to relax the muscles and reduce trigger points common in those with fibromyalgia. 

Osteopathy for fibromyalgia primarily provides immediate relief from symptoms and can be effective at it. However, it can fall short in preventing symptoms from recurring, as it can’t treat root causes that could be triggering fibromyalgia pain. However, it can be a part of a multidisciplinary approach and work in tandem with other treatment options. 


Similarly, chiropractors also focus on a holistic, whole-body approach to health. However, where they differ from osteopaths is in the scope of their treatment. While both are musculoskeletal experts, chiropractors are chiefly concerned with the spine and how its health and curvature affect the body.

This is because each person’s spine has a unique, optimal alignment that significantly influences their overall health. This alignment is crucial in how our bodies distribute weight, and muscles exert tension on the nervous system, particularly the spinal cord.

When treating fibromyalgia, chiropractors will make use of:

  • Spinal adjustments: Chiropractors use spinal adjustments or manipulations to improve joint mobility, and reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Muscle Therapy: In addition to spinal adjustments, chiropractors utilize soft tissue techniques such as massages, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy to address muscle tension and alleviate pain in specific body areas.
  • Postural and Curvature Correction: Advanced chiropractors can utilize treatments designed to correct the spine’s curvature, which can not only relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia but prevent them from coming back while improving overall health.

While there is very little evidence that spinal adjustments alone can provide long-term fibromyalgia relief, a key factor that makes advanced chiropractic care especially effective in treating fibromyalgia is the correlation between the shape of the cervical spine and fibromyalgia. While an exact cause of fibromyalgia has yet to be identified, studies have shown that most patients with fibromyalgia have a misaligned cervical spine.

Partnering with a chiropractor could be the way for patients who want a long-term solution for fibromyalgia. Also, like osteopathy, chiropractic care can be integrated as part of a multimodal approach to fibromyalgia treatment and can work with other options.

Osteopath or Chiropractor for Fibromyalgia Relief: A Comparison
  Osteopath for Fibromyalgia  Chiropractor for Fibromyalgia 
Approach Focus on spinal adjustment for immediate relief and spinal curvature correction for long-term prevention. Muscle manipulation—OMT—to provide immediate and short-term relief.
  • Immediate relief through spinal adjustments, muscle therapy
  • Non-invasive and holistic 
  • Spinal curve correction can provide long-lasting relief from fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Spinal curve correction can improve whole-body health 
  • Immediate relief through muscle manipulation
  • Non-invasive and holistic 
  • OMT can also improve joint mobility
  • Long-term commitment from the patient may be required for the best results 
  • Chiropractic care can sometimes cause post-visit soreness, which can be problematic for fibromyalgia patients with increased sensitivity to touch and pressure
  • An osteopath’s ability to treat fibromyalgia depends heavily on training, and many will not be able to provide hands-on care
  • Lack of long-term relief
  • Risk of reaggravating symptoms (flare-ups)

Note that an osteopath’s effectiveness in providing immediate relief and a chiropractor’s in providing prompt and long-term relief will vary based on factors such as the individual patient’s condition, the cause of the fibromyalgia, and the healthcare provider’s ability. 

Key Takeaway
Osteopathy provides effective short-term relief but cannot provide long-term relief. Chiropractic care itself also mainly provides short-term relief. However, chiropractors specializing in spinal curve and postural correction can relieve long-term fibromyalgia.

That’s why when weighing osteopaths or chiropractors for fibromyalgia relief, it’s essential to consider working with a professional trained in spinal curvature and postural correction, as it will provide the highest potential for effective treatment. 

PostureWorks Offers Effective, Long-Term Fibromyalgia Relief

Here at PostureWorks, we know precisely how frustrating fibromyalgia can be for residents of Lakewood and San Francisco. We provide an effective, long-term option for people weighing whether to seek an osteopath or a chiropractor for fibromyalgia relief. We focus on spinal curvature correction as a key facet of our treatment plans.

To accomplish this, we use advanced, cutting-edge approaches like Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP) as the foundation for our fibromyalgia treatment strategies. With CBP, we can analyze your entire medical history and perform in-depth postural assessments to identify a path to postural correction and proper spinal curvature. That way, you’ll benefit from the immediate relief of chiropractic care and won’t have to worry about recurring frustratingly painful symptoms.

Contact us today if you’re still wondering if you should see an osteopath or a chiropractor for fibromyalgia relief or to schedule your appointment with PostureWorks in Lakewood or San Francisco.

Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive as with all chiropractic care.

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