Both modalities are wonderful and slightly different. Scope of practice can overlap a bit for both. However, if your doctor recommended chiropractic, I would suggest seeing a chiropractor for specialized spinal health. Your MD may have noted restrictions in your spine needing to be addressed. Physical therapists typically focus more on exercises and stretches, which your chiropractor can also give you to recover. Both modalities do work well together also. So, if you would like to see both a chiropractor and a PT, that should be just fine.
Dr. Caitlin Zietz, B.Sc., D.C.
Chiropractors correct one thing, Spinal Subluxations, which in turn cause Nerve Interference and leads to all kinds of health issues the least of which are simple musculoskeletal complaints. Physical Therapist work on flexibility and strengthening soft tissues like muscle and ligaments. Both have roles in achieving health and can and should be done simultaneously if warranted and the subluxation is diagnosed. They don't the same things or treat the same thing as is commonly misunderstood by the public and even the Pt themselves. Lastly, one is Doctor the other a Therapist. Listen to your doctors first then the PT. Hope this helps. I would consult a DC first as an undiagnosed Subluxation can be made worse by PT alone.
If you have any questions, call me or come into my clinic.
Dr. Josh Cohen
Research has shown that about 1% of patients that see a chiropractor first for low back pain will eventually need surgery while 47% of those that go to a surgeon first get surgery. When it comes to back pain, my number one focus is to keep my patients off of the operating table and out of pain. I hope that helps.
Due to wear and tear or injury, your joints and the bones in your spine get pulled and twisted out of alignment, putting pressure on nerves. A chiropractor's job is to put those joints back into place through an adjustment. A physical therapist works to rehab and provide guided exercise to stabilize and improve muscle function. These two professions work well hand-in-hand, but if your doctor suggested a chiropractor, it wouldn't hurt to try that first. The rest of your body functions off of the nerves coming out of your spine, so removing that interference would be the key place to start.
A doctor of Chiropractic is going to address your bio-mechanical alignment of the vertebrae of your back. This is called a subluxation. The doctor will bring the motion back into the joint by means of an adjustment. The joint then has an increase in motion and proper mobility. Your nervous system, that runs everything in your body, is protected by the bones (vertebrae) that make up your back. So, when you get adjusted, the nervous system also benefits. The less interference your nervous system has, the
better your entire body will function. Physical therapists work with the muscle primarily. Your joints "stay" where the muscle and ligaments tell it, and the tension and nervous system tell the muscle where to go. So, when you have chiropractic care, you are addressing the underlying cause and physical therapy is addressing the support system. Which is why when you have proper motion and nerve control and combine it with physical therapy, strengthening the muscle, you can have a very powerful health care team.
Hope this helps,
Chiropractors have extensive knowledge on back pain and is a predominant subject within their curriculum. But not all chiropractors treat equally. Some believe in adjusting with limited other treatments, while others treat with more exercises and strengthen the patient.
Physical therapists can do some great work for back pain with rehabilitation and can even manually adjust (not nearly as much training as a chiropractors curriculum).
I can’t directly say one profession is better or worse for back pain because it comes down to the treating clinicians modalities of choice.
Hope this helps.
Briefly, Chiropractors check for structural misalignment of the joints in the body, especially the spinal vertebrae and pelvis. Misalignments can cause irritation or put pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. Chiropractors use a variety of procedures to adjust the joints, improving mobility and reducing pain. Chiropractors are Doctors and can diagnose, and can send patients to physical therapy.
Physical Therapists usually will give a patient exercises to do during physical therapy, and at home. These exercises help strengthen and stretch various body areas to help improve structure. Most physical therapists are not Doctors.
Both Physical therapists and Chiropractors can use physiotherapy procedures like electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, hot or cold packs, traction, etc.
Recent research found that the best results were reached when a combination of Chiropractic AND exercise was performed.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Dr. Steven Moon, Concord Chiropractic
As a Chiropractor, I can promote mobility and function through exercise therapy, manual therapy, and electrotherapy. The aforementioned activities do assist in restoring function, but the ultimate source of restoring function is the chiropractic adjustment which puts your spine in alignment. No matter what I use as a therapy to help alleviate you of pain, to ensure your personal level of success I have to make sure that your spine is not compromised. Think about the alignment of your car. We all know that if you are in need of alignment, the symptoms you will experience are wear and tear of tires and your car veering to one side more than the other. When we notice these “symptoms” we can do one of two things: 1. Replace the tires or 2. Correct the misalignment. I believe that by going with option 2, it will save hundred of dollars because I am getting to the root of the problem.
Well, that’s what we do as Chiropractors. We can perform different modalities, but we get to the root of the problem and that’s the alignment of your spine. We look at the body as a whole and assist in the management of nutrition, physical therapy, and pain management. Now, I am in no way stating that Chiropractic cures all because it is my personal philosophy that every aspect of the medical spectrum has its purpose. Many Chiropractors practices are comprehensive and includes M.D.’s, Physical therapists, Orthopedic Surgeons, and Neurologists. What I am stating is that Chiropractic is the best non-invasive and healthy approach to injury prevention, restoring function and alleviating pain. We know that the body can heal itself and all we have to do is remove the interference that is preventing the healing process. Every case is different because we have to take account of past medical and social history, but overall the Practice of Chiropractic can assist you with many ailments. Find yourself the Chiropractor that’s right for you! I wish you well on your journey.