“What’s the difference?”
“Who do I see?”
“Should I see a chiropractor? My doctor recommended physiotherapy.”
These are questions I hear daily, the answers are always it depends. Nobody likes this answer, but the reality is that you have to find the right fit for you.
If you have been to more than one chiropractor or physiotherapist, I’m sure you can attest to the fact that they did different things, use different tools, and had different approaches. It didn’t matter what their title was. Every physiotherapist is different, and every chiropractor is different - just like everybody’s pain is different. There are so many techniques and tools these days, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.
There are some similarities and differences. For example:
Both chiropractors and physiotherapists are well educated.
Chiropractors must have a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate education before entering a 4-year post-graduate degree to become a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC).
Physiotherapists must have a 4-year undergraduate degree before doing a 2-year master's program.
Education doesn’t end there, both can do additional courses to further their skills in any direction. Common additional courses include: acupuncture, Active Release Techniques®, functional assessments, and the list goes on.
Chiropractors have 4 years of training in adjusting/manipulation before becoming licensed. Whereas, physiotherapists are able to take additional courses after their schooling to be trained in adjusting.
Both use the same modalities.
Modalities can include IFC (interferential current), laser, shockwave, spinal decompression, or anything else a clinic might have
Both prescribe stretches and exercises to help in your rehabilitation journey.
Chiropractors can give a diagnosis and can order x-rays
Both work on the joints and muscles of the body - any part of the body
How I Practice
As a chiropractor, I treat any part of the body from headaches and jaw pain, all the way to plantar fasciitis and anywhere in between. My goal is to always help you feel better and reach your goals, and I have many tools in my tool belt to help you get there.
Within each profession, techniques can vary widely. For example, the methods used to deliver a chiropractic adjustment can vary. Some chiropractors use their hands to do manual adjustments, and some use a tool or an Activator®. Within each adjustment, there are several ways to deliver it. Doing an upper back adjustment can be done face-down, face-up, or seated depending on the condition, the patient, and the chiropractor.
To me, my most important tool is my hands. I use manual therapy as much as possible to help loosen joints and muscles through stretches, manipulation, and soft tissue muscle work. I am also trained in Functional Integrated Acupuncture to help restore inhibited and weak muscles to correct muscle imbalances and decrease pain.
Additional tools I can use include: IFC, laser therapy, and shockwave therapy (stay tuned for more information). You can find more information on the different techniques I use here. No matter what tool I use, you will have some homework in the form of stretches or strengthening exercises to help speed up healing and prevent the injury from reoccurring. For me, a successful rehabilitation program involves simplicity, minimizing the equipment needed at home to work on your exercises.
If you aren’t sure what’s right for you or you have any questions, I always offer free 15 minute consultations.
I hope to see you soon!