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Chiropractor vs. Physical Therapist

December 23, 2020

How to know whether I need chiropractic care or physical therapy?

Chiropractic care and physical therapy, also sometimes referred to as physiotherapy, actually has quite a few similarities. Both disciplines work to address and control overall pain and stiffness throughout the body. Licensed professionals work in both fields with several years of science based education, but their approach to treating the body is unique to a certain extent.

Throughout this article, we will take a more in-depth look at these two different fields, ways in which they differ, the advantages that they may offer, and how to know which option is best for your specific set of circumstances.

How are Chiropractic care and physical therapy similar?

Chiropractors and physical therapists will typically hold almost identical objectives in mind for patients, but will have a different approach as to how they feel it is best to accomplish the goal. Some examples of similarities that they may share include a prominent focus on managing pain within the body employing noninvasive methods, the use of manual therapy to treat particular conditions, treatment of the same issues, and both may even create wellness plans for the patients beyond what can typically be completed in the average session.

What are the biggest differences between physiotherapy and chiropractic care?

When it comes to physical therapy, the biggest goal is to achieve movement that is free of pain. The focus of the field as a whole is to pay attention to how the body moves and functions simultaneously. Physical therapists will assist patients with carrying out stretches and exercises designed to heighten mobility. They are also not limited to working in a healthcare environment and, as such, have no qualms with visiting the homes of their patients in attempts to help them.

Chiropractic care typically deals with the spine and related structures. Pain relief and ensuring that the spine is properly aligned are considered to be the chief goals of a chiropractor. The most common issues addressed by a chiropractor include pain of the neck, back, joints, limbs, and even headaches. They will perform manipulations with the intent of allowing the body to heal itself. The chiropractor will work out of a specialized location to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible, but to also have access to the necessary equipment to perform the adjustments and manipulations.

What can I expect a physical therapist to do?

As mentioned above, the main focus of a physical therapist is ensuring that you can move your body without any sort of pain. This will have the added effect of significantly boosting your quality of life. The physical therapist would like nothing more than for you to be able to go about your daily life and have the ability to function as though there is no issue with the highest amount of mobility possible. You can expect for the therapist to evaluate your current mobility levels and then make suggestions in regards to stretches and exercise that can be completed to make things easier for you. Not only that, but they will likely provide you with some tips and tricks on how to stay as healthy as possible despite your current issues.

The typical treatment plan put forth by a physical therapist will include an initial evaluation to determine what the root cause of the pain may be, how flexible you currently are, as well as present mobility levels. This will help the therapist to see if you are making proper progress and determine if any adjustments need to be made to the treatment plan. They will also work hard to ensure that you are properly educated when it comes to posture and the effects that it can have on your sense of wellbeing plus knowledge on how to move without causing further injuries or pain. It is not at all unusual for the amount of physical therapy needed to vary on a personal basis dependent on the extent of the injury. Some people may only need a few sessions whereas others need several months of consistent appointments before seeing any sort of results.

Why should I consider physical therapy?

There are several reasons as to why one might choose to seek out the assistance of a physical therapist The most common reasons being to treat injuries obtained as a result of a car accident, a feeling of pain when trying to complete daily activities, .wanting to maintain the ability to move with ease, or even health conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. You should be aware of the fact that if you are seeing a therapist in regards to a specific condition, some therapists have actually obtained certification to specialize in particular conditions meaning that they might be able to handle your issues better.

What does a chiropractor do?

A chiropractor is a professional in the medical field who has obtained their doctorate degree and employ a hands-on approach to treat their patients in attempts to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation within the body. Their preferred treatment option is manipulation as they believe that the body can heal itself if segments are put back into proper alignment. It is important to keep in mind that much like the treatment provided by a physical therapist, there are no medication or surgeries involved with chiropractic care. It is best to consider seeing a chiropractor before undergoing invasive treatments that could potentially make you feel worse than ever before. The health conditions that can be evaluated by a chiropractor are simply boundless as they can see anyone of any age.

The evaluation performed by a chiropractor will typically include both physical examinations and testing. This allows them to see the issue with their own eyes and determine just how severe the issue at hand actually is. This means that the problem area can be treated rather quickly as they will have a rough idea as to what they are dealing with. They will offer adjustments to the body in areas such as the spine and neck with the hopes of easing any discomfort. They may also provide you with information regarding other treatments that they feel that you could benefit from.

People typically seek out the assistance of a chiropractor when they are suffering from neck, back, or joint pain. As you may have noticed, these are the same reasons that one typically choose to visit with a physical therapist. This may leave you a bit confused as to which option is best for your needs. The best answer is that the route you decide to take will be entirely dependent upon your current condition. Some people may even make the decision to opt to see both a chiropractor and a physical therapist in order to better address their specific needs. If you are at all confused, it may be beneficial to reach out to your physician to receive a professional opinion on what option is best for you.

The truth of the matter is that most people will see benefits from both physical therapy and chiropractic care. The treatment plans are not at all invasive meaning that treatment can be done whenever you see fit and enable you to go about your daily life. It is simply up to you to decide which option you feel is best for your needs.

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