chiropractor vs. physiotherapist

Back pain is a common affliction among adults in the US. When surveyed, 65 million Americans reported having recently experienced some form of back pain. If you are one of these people, you’ll be all too aware of the issues, inconveniences, and irritation back pain can cause.

Back pain can be a significant hindrance from lost work to lost sleep to perform even the smallest and simplest tasks. Sufferers of back issues often find themselves asking the same question: chiropractor vs. physiotherapist, how do I choose which type of treatment is best?

Chiropractor vs. Physiotherapist

There are similarities shared by chiropractic treatment and physiotherapy. There are also significant differences. It’s first necessary to understand the two types of therapies, how they work, and what they can offer.

This article will go through the merits of physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment and their typical applications. It will also look at and some possible ways to choose which one might be right for you.

What Is Chiropractic Therapy?

Chiropractic therapy is a type of alternative medicine. It mostly focuses on treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The concept was created by a man named Daniel David Palmer, a practitioner of various alternative medicine types.

Chiropractors are licensed professionals who must have completed at least three years of education in an accredited chiropractic college. The ailments they most commonly treat sciatica, herniated discs, back sprains, and other spinal conditions.

Chiropractic therapy involves the manipulation of joints in the body to provide pain relief. A chiropractor uses a hands-on (but non-invasive) approach to ease pain or reduce inflammation in various parts of a patient’s body.

What does this mean, exactly? Essentially, during a session with a chiropractor, once they have completed a physical exam, including an examination of your spine, they will begin to make what they call adjustments on various parts of your body.

An adjustment is a manipulation of a particular joint in the body that involves controlled force. Chiropractic therapy will usually involve a series of adjustments and complementary measures such as diet or lifestyle changes.

What Is Physiotherapy?

Also known as physical therapy, physiotherapy is a type of medical treatment dating back to the early 19th century. Its creator, Pehr Henrik Ling, used physiotherapy principles primarily to treat gymnasts at first. It soon became recognized around the world as an official medical profession.

Physiotherapy aims to ease pain and to restore a full range of motion in body parts that have suffered an injury or are, for some other reason, inflexible. This is achieved through prescribed stretches and exercises.

To become a licensed physiotherapist, you have completed a physical therapy course from an accredited institution, the entry into which requires a bachelor’s degree.

Physiotherapy is often recommended for athletes who have suffered sports-related injuries. However, they also treat a wide range of other types of patients. Those involved in motor accidents, those who have undergone surgery, and those suffering from chronic pain are just some of the kinds of people a physiotherapist is likely to treat.

As well as exercises and stretches, physiotherapists might also use several other treatments. These can include things such as soft tissue massage or trigger point therapy.

Similarities and Differences

As is stated above, the two professions do share some similarities, as well as some key distinctions.

Both offer non-invasive types of treatment. This means no skin is broken throughout the treatment, as would happen in surgery, for example. Both can involve hands-on treatments, and both focus on the reduction of pain through non-surgical techniques.

Some differences. Chiropractors focus mainly on the spine and musculoskeletal system, while a physical therapist will focus on the body’s movement as a whole. Chiropractors perform adjustments with the hope of the body being able to heal itself. At the same time, physiotherapists help a patient do exercises and stretches to restore proper movement to the body.

How to Choose Which Is Right For You

Every person and every problem is a little bit different. It can be challenging to know which is the right type of treatment to seek. Below are some things to consider to help those struggling to make this all-important decision.

1. Consider Your Condition

You’re suffering from pack pain, that much you know. But are you aware of the primary source of your discomfort? What kind of back pain do you have? Is it a trapped nerve, a slipped disc? Have you suffered a sports-related injury, or were you involved in a car accident? Are there other symptoms associated with your back pain that you also need to treat? These kinds of questions may help you decide which type of therapy you will benefit from the most.

2. Do Your Due Diligence

As with any medical condition, back pain is something to be taken seriously, and for which you will want to get the very best treatment. This is why it is worth doing a fair amount of research on all of your options to help you know how to choose which is right for you. You should make yourself familiar with what both therapies involve and the different practitioners of each in your area, and the reputations and qualifications.

3. Consult With Your Doctor

If your pain is particularly problematic, it is likely that you have already been to your doctor or at least spoken to him or her about your condition. It is always a good idea to seek your doctor’s advice when deciding which therapy is the best option for you. They will be familiar with your medical history and your condition, and as such, they are well placed to advise you on what will work best.

Chiropractor vs. Physiotherapist | The Bottom Line

The question of chiropractor vs. physiotherapist is one that only you can answer. After you have done the proper research, taken all the proper precautions, and consulted with a qualified doctor, it is up to you to decide which route to take. Whatever you do decide, remember to be patient. Both of these therapies can take some time to begin to work and to take full effect.

If you’ve found this content useful, check out the rest of our site for more helpful guides and health-related content.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for explaining that the kind of back pain you have can help to indicate if you should choose a chiropractor or a physiotherapist. I’ve been wondering what I should be looking for to help with some of my back pain. I think this point should help me to figure that out so I’ll keep this in mind while I look.

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