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Should I see a chiropractor or a physiotherapist?

We are sure you’ve scratched your head and wondered aplenty: “What is the difference between a chiropractor and a physiotherapist?”

Perhaps, you are currently suffering from a kink in your lower back that is giving you terrible back pain or a sports injury requiring much-needed rehabilitation. But, who should you turn to?

Such pains can even lead to added stress and emotional trauma not only on you but also on your work life. So, what are the main differences between these two respected ambitions?

What are chiropractic treatments well known for?

Chiropractors do not simply crack bones. Well known for their expertise in treating patients with back pains, kinks in the neck, and headaches, they are a profession dedicated to the non-surgical treatment of the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system founded in 1895.

The nervous system is the crowning glory in the body as it affects every single system. This is because the nerves act as a delivery system to deliver vital information to the brain. These nerves that control every function of the body originate at the spinal cord.

Even a slight misalignment in the spine can interfere with the function of the nervous system. This is referred to as “subluxation”, a term used by chiropractors to describe a joint that has lost its full range of motion. When a subluxation is detected, the chiropractor will then proceed with a chiropractic adjustment.

However, a lot of people have drawn their fear of adjustment due to the popping or cracking sounds. A chiropractic adjustment does not mean bones cracking. When an adjustment is administered, the joint will open up and the “pop” sound is actually the release of gas. Chiropractic adjustments will not wear out your joints.

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Chiropractic treatments involve gentle and non-surgical manipulation of the spine. Some patients require only a few chiropractic sessions, while for others it might be desirable to undertake ongoing treatment, perhaps followed by occasional check-ups. 

For runners, chiropractic treatment can be used for injury prevention because the treatment emphasizes on the proper alignment of the spine and the pelvis. Do you know there’s always a sports chiropractor present at the Olympics?

Where do physiotherapists come in the picture?

Physiotherapists use a variety of gentle techniques to ensure your muscle and joints work to their full potential. They operate by using a range of treatment modalities to help patients recover from a sports injury and accidents which include crutches, massaging, stretching, hydrotherapy, ultrasound, wheelchair, and exercise advice for muscle re-education and control.

Your physiotherapist will look at a number of areas that may have been the cause of your injury. One of the ways of treating your injury is to analyze your running biomechanics. The physiotherapist will look at the various components of your running technique all the way to your muscle strength and overall flexibility.

Physiotherapists focus more heavily on rehabilitation exercises, such as stretching, strengthening, and stabilizing exercises. The main difference between these two practices is that physiotherapists supplement their manipulations with therapeutic exercises and massages, whereas chiropractors use a style that frequently makes use of shorter and more forceful movements.

Why do runners get injured so easily?

Most of the time, it all boils down to a change in workload. As we gradually increase the distance we run, the muscle and tendon respond to the increase in workload and increase our strength and endurance.

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However, if the workload is increased too quickly, these structures start to break down.  The most common running injuries encountered by these two practices are runner’s knee, shin splints, and Achilles Tendinopathy.

While there are many differences between chiropractic treatment and physiotherapy, they share a common ground. Both practices use manipulations to restore joint function, improve posture, and relieve pain. Ultimately, they both share one common goal which is to return their patients to the peak of their health and fitness.

If you are looking for a professional to assist with the treatment of a musculoskeletal problem, they must understand your concerns and problems. Any specialist should have the knowledge and experience of treating similar injuries and understand how to get the best results.


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