If you have ever suffered from a bad back or a sore neck or knee, chances are you sought a way to relieve the tension and pain, usually a physiotherapy or chiropractic practitioner. As similar as these two might seem at a first glance, they are fairly different in terms of approach and technique.
While both physiotherapists and chiropractors undergo training and education to be able to provide care, and as well both have the potential to prevent, alleviate or treat a majority of musculoskeletal conditions, they ways they perform the treatment varies.
The difference lies in technique and approach
Chiropractors focus mainly on manipulating the spine and mobilizing joints through a technique called adjustment. Physiotherapists tend to work the soft tissues, such as muscles or tendons, to enable mobility and promote overall wellbeing. Physiotherapy has been used to treat similar conditions as chiropractic has. However, it has an advantage: while chiropractic usually deals with spinal conditions and pains and it enables the body’s inner pharmacy to react and start the healing process, physiotherapy can have a comprehensive approach for the patient’s whole body.
Both have been around for thousands of years
Physiotherapy is considered to have been established by The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates himself in the year 460. He introduced the idea of manually manipulating the body to achieve pain relief and boost health. This paved the way for a new medical practice to be born, but it was only in the 19th century when its benefits were recognized. Even though chiropractic techniques have been used in Chinese medicine in the early days, it was only after Daniel David Palmer developed it in 1895 that is started becoming more and more popular. People all over the world got excited and curious about what this new art of healing could potentially mean for them.
Both are effective in treating back pain, and are cost-efficient
According to recent researches, patients who choose to see a physiotherapist or a chiropractor for their health issues saved 50% on their initial treatment costs, and experienced a reduction of 72% in costs within the first year.This can also have a great impact on healthcare system spending as more referrals to physiotherapists and chiropractors can take the pressure off GPs and can results in less hospitalization days.
Nevertheless, if you feel like your joints are locked and you are experiencing stiffness and soreness or simply just failed to find a treatment option that successfully treated your problem, a consultation with such a physical therapist might be the answer for you. It is important to choose according to your problem – if your pain is soft tissue related, a visit to the physiotherapist might just be the best thing for you. On the other hand, if it’s your back the main source of pain, it might be best you seek help from a chiropractor. Either way, regardless of your decision, make sure you visit a trained specialist.