Key Differences Between Your Chiropractor and Physiotherapist

Key Differences Between Your Chiropractor and Physiotherapist

If you struggle with neck or back pain, you might be wondering whether to book a consultation with your chiropractor or a physiotherapist. While the two have some similarities, they offer different treatments catering to various medical ailments. So, how do you tell them apart?

Education and Training

Chiropractors such as Brad Kern will often take up to seven years to complete their education and training. During this time, professionals in this practice receive a bachelor’s degree, after which they can specialize in chiropractic techniques. An internship at preferred chiropractic clinics then follows this. This will come in handy in diagnosing and treating patients based on factors such as the severity of the condition, the duration of the chosen treatment, and whether the patient responds well to the treatment in question.

Physiotherapists, on the other hand, only require about four years to complete their education and training. During this period, they will need to work in medical facilities to gain experience to help them treat patients and perform rehabilitation work.

Techniques Used

Manipulation Technique

This method is utilized by chiropractors and helps adjust the joints between the spine and limbs. It is a gentle manipulation approach focusing on high velocity and low amplitude thrust to help with normal body movement. It will often be accompanied by soft tissue techniques to help with muscles that include dry needling, massage, and cupping. These will be essential in helping you move freely without any restrictions and pain.

Chiropractors generally offer a holistic approach to the spine and nervous system. Professionals in this field believe that all systems in the body are intertwined, which is why they create customized care to ensure optimal functionality in all areas. This allows them to coordinate movement in multiple systems and all tissues outside the neck and back region to prevent long-term damage.

Mobilisation Technique

This will often be the go-to for physiotherapists and will mainly focus on moving joints through the full range of motion. This helps relieve muscle pain and tension, allowing you to improve flexibility in various joints. Unlike chiropractors, that focus on adjusting joints for normal body movement, physiotherapists focus on correcting imbalances brought about by injuries.

In addition to this, their objective is to improve muscle weakness, with their work encompassing rehabilitation cases. These could be post-stroke rehabilitation and post-surgical treatments. Like any other medical treatment, physiotherapy has its side effects, with common examples being tenderness, muscle soreness, and fatigue.

Due to their focus on musculoskeletal injuries, physiotherapists will likely work on back pain injuries and sports-related injuries. Due to this, they will often overlook the body as an interconnected system, isolating areas that may need future care. They, however, still provide effective pain management techniques. 

While physiotherapists and chiropractors are experts in their area of care, patients will often gain the most by identifying the most suitable professional to help with their given problem. As previously discussed, chiropractors emphasize the entire body, providing holistic care, while physiotherapists focus on specific injuries to offer relief to existing injuries. Before signing up for any care plan, ensure that your practitioner assesses your injuries to help you get the right treatment plan.

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