Physiotherapy vs. Chiropractic: What do I need?

What’s the difference between a Physiotherapist and a Chiropractor?

While there are distinct differences to both practices, there is a lot of overlap with both professions complimenting each other quite well. Both chiropractors and physiotherapists take time to understand the physical complexities of each unique patient to find out the root cause. Both professionals treat joints and musculoskeletal problems to increase movement and strength, decrease pain and help return your body to optimal function.

The main difference between the two disciplines is that a chiropractor traditionally uses manipulation, where as a physiotherapist will more commonly use mobilization and rehabilitation techniques.

What is meant by Chiropractic manipulation?

Chiropractic medicine is a musculoskeletal field that concentrates on the nervous system and how it relates to pain management and the body's ability to heal itself. Chiropractors use their hands and other instruments to adjust the joints of your spine and limbs where signs of restricted movement are found. Specific manipulation techniques aim to make you move better and more freely.

More than head, neck and back injury, chiropractors can help with a great number of problems and disorders including:

•    Headache
•    Whiplash
•    Muscle strains and sprains
•    Pelvic pain and discomfort
•    Joint pain
•    Chronic pain including arthritis
•    Muscle cramps including menstrual
•    Incontinence and bowel concerns
•    Hip pain
•    Nerve pain
•    Injury due to repetitive motion
•    Lethargy/fatigue
•    Vertigo/Dizziness

What is meant by Physiotherapy mobilization techniques?

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Physiotherapy specializes in strength and movement of the body and uses treatments to determine and heal mobility and lifestyle impairments. While most widely known for rehabilitation, physiotherapy can help to restore strength and movement for any number of reasons including chronic pain, damage sustained from old injuries, repetitive motion causing discomfort and retaining mobility while living with chronic disease. A physiotherapist will treat using manual therapy and massage techniques, electrical therapies and exercise to heal and restore movement. There is a deeper focus on rehabilitative exercise to strengthen and prevent injury.

You should seek physiotherapy for: 

•    Sprains and strains
•    Fractures
•    Muscle pain
•    Joint pain
•    Pelvic pain or discomfort
•    Mobility issues in an part of the body
•    Post injury rehabilitation including from stroke or nerve damage
•    Post disease rehabilitation including heart disease, lung disease, and cancer
•    Palliative care related any chronic condition including diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis
•    Muscle atrophy
•    Incontinence

It hurts, who do you choose?

If your back or joints feel locked, stiff, and sore or maybe haven’t responded to other treatments, then a consultation with a chiropractor is recommended.

Soft tissue problems are more commonly treated by physiotherapists as well as joint and muscular problems which are restricting movement and causing pain.

The first priority is to just get yourself assessed and examined properly by your practitioner and they will advise which treatment is best for your condition – and refer you accordingly. That is why we use an integrative approach at ONE80 Health because both disciplines can collaborate and give you advice to help manage your injuries and ailments.

If you’re ever unsure about what kind of practitioner to see, give us a call and we’ll help you choose what’s best for you.