What is the Difference Between a Chiropractor and Physiotherapist?

What is the Difference Between a Chiropractor and Physiotherapist?

To a novice, the jobs of a chiropractor and a physiotherapist may seem similar, and they often end up mixing these two. Thus begins an endless confusion on what kind of treatment you need. Although both deal with musculoskeletal pain and require a university certificate, each take different approaches to health. Both professionals focus on recovering injuries and improving their patient’s health. They mostly deal with motor vehicle collision injuries, back injuries, and shoulder pain. So when you have a severe back-pain, to whom should you go? The answer relies on understanding the difference between these two professions despite their overlapping focuses.

How are Chiropractors Different from Physiotherapists?

There is a wide range of treatment styles provided in both chiropractic care and physiotherapy, like many other medical disciplines. The core difference between these two practices is their techniques, along with other factors.

Treatment Areas

Chiropractors can often treat most parts of the body, but they usually concentrate more on the spine and associated structures. Their main goal is to attend the areas related to the spine or the nerve system and improve any abnormal mechanism of the adjoined muscles. But physiotherapists focus on promoting the body’s mobility by restoring proper movement patterns and correcting muscular imbalances. Chiropractors can treat chronic and acute neck pain and back pain, headaches, sciatica, shoulder tensions, extremity joint conditions, neck-related dizziness, and vertigo. Again, physiotherapists are trained to treat arthritis, sports injuries, neck and back pain, swollen areas in joints, ligament and tendon damages, sciatica and recurring strain injuries. Another distinctive characteristic of chiropractors is they acknowledge that the nervous system controls everything, from the muscles to the organs. So their treatment is centered around reducing the spinal tension, which will then help reduce the stress on the nervous system and improve the body’s ability to heal.

Treatment Techniques

Traditionally, chiropractors practice joint manipulation as their principal method. Physiotherapists generally use mobilization techniques. The physiotherapists’ care plan includes a range of styles such as acupuncture, manual therapy, visceral manipulation, ultrasound, electrical modalities, and various exercises. But chiropractors more commonly use their hands to adjust the joints of limbs and spine where there are restrained movements. They can practice grade-5 manipulation, which is high-velocity in character with low amplitude thrusts. Conversely, physiotherapists can practice up to grade-4 manipulation, which holds lesser amplitudes in a low-velocity. The great thing about grade-5 manipulation is, it has been known to provide instant improvement in terms of pain relief and movements.

In Conclusion, if you are still confused about whom should you consult, physiotherapists mainly deal with leg and arm problems. Whereas, chiropractors or a chiropractic in Mesa, AZ tend to see patients with neck, back and headache problems.

Thanks to LifeCare Chiropractic for their insight into chiropractic care and the differences of a physiotherapist.