And which is right for you? Have you pulled a muscle? Is your neck stiff? Maybe your hand is sore, or you're having difficulty walking because of lower back pain?
If this is the case, it might be the right call for you to go and see a physical therapist or a chiropractor! But you might be asking yourself, 'which physician would be the best for me?'
When it comes to seeing either a physical therapist or a chiropractor, which one is the right fit for you?
Both professionals fall under the same umbrella of physical treatment and focus on relieving pain, tension, and skeletal misalignment. The way they approach your goal usually differs the most between both fields.
A chiropractor, by definition, is a healthcare professional focused on diagnosing and treating neuromuscular conditions with a strong focus on spinal manipulation.
A physical therapist is also a healthcare professional specializing in diagnosing and treating physical abnormalities, such as muscle soreness or joint pain.
With the same goal of improving physical mobility and muscle function, both healthcare professions are there to help you improve. The point of difference is how they treat you.
Both practitioners have different sets of approaches. Continue reading to explore what some of these approaches are!
A certified chiropractor traditionally focuses on spinal and joint manipulation. They pay close attention to the neurological system. They usually have you lying, standing, walking, or sitting to perform their visual and physical examinations using either their hands or specific tools.
Treatments from chiropractors consist of “adjustments” to your spine and joints using push, pull, pressing, and rotating techniques. Chiropractors treat various conditions, including muscle pain, back pain, joint pain, sciatica, neck issues, headaches, and other neurological conditions.
There are two main types of chiropractors - Musculoskeletal Chiropractors and Wellness Chiropractors.
Musculoskeletal Chiropractors focus on relieving pain from underlying conditions, such as back pain. Musculoskeletal chiropractors provide short-term relief for symptoms but don’t necessarily treat the root cause of the problem. However, if you’re after short-term relief, a musculoskeletal chiropractor would be perfect for you.
A Wellness Chiropractor has a different focus which is on subluxations. A subluxation can be defined as a partial dislocation of any number of bones. Wellness chiropractors focus on realigning and reconnecting subluxated joints and bones to help reconnect the nervous system with the rest of the body.
Above everything, the main focus of a chiropractor is to treat the spine and the nervous system. So how do they differ from physical therapists? Continue reading to find out!
Physical therapists treat fractures, sports injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, amputations, arthritis, muscle soreness, and stiffness.
They prescribe rehabilitative exercises to strengthen weak or underused muscles. Much like chiropractors, physical therapists focus on relieving pain and getting you back on your feet! But what do they actually do?
Depending on your condition, a general examination from a physical therapist can include a posture examination, a movement and flexibility examination, a history of health assessment, and a rehabilitation plan.
Different physical therapists, however, have different approaches in mind. Let’s explore some of these different types of physical therapists.
Orthopedic physical therapists look at treating injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Sprains, tendonitis, fractures, and other chronic medical conditions are what they focus on.
Our body becomes more prone to wear and tear with age. Arthritis, joint pain, and even Alzheimers can affect your motor skills. Geriatric physical therapists can help older patients alleviate pain, help with hip replacement surgery and also help to restore balance.
Neurological physical therapy focuses on the nervous system. This type of therapy helps patients suffering from cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's' by treating immobility, balance, and paralysis.
There are benefits to seeing both Chiropractors & Physical Therapists, but deciding on which one to see depends on your issue or focus.
Chiropractors are focused on spinal alignment, the nervous system, short-term pain relief, and subluxation assessments.
Physical therapists have a similar focus on pain relief and treatment, but their focus isn’t so much on the spine. Always make sure to talk to a health professional before seeking treatment to make sure that you’re making the right decision!
If you’d like personal 1:1 care or want to learn more, please contact us at (410) 946-1672, or click here. We’ll get you in touch with one of our dedicated professionals. At True Sports Physical Therapy, your health is always front of mind! It’s our mission to help you get off the sidelines and back on your feet in the fastest and safest way possible.