• Ultra Sports

Chiropractor vs Physiotherapy

Updated: Jan 27


Physiotherapist or chiropractor? We often turn to these healthcare professionals when experiencing any kind of stiffness or pain in the body, but they can be very different in both approach and focus. It’s difficult to distinguish between the two since both aim to relieve pain in similar parts of the body. This makes it all the more important to take a closer look into how they differ and what they can offer before choosing what kind of treatment would be best for your conditions. In this guide, we will discuss the difference between a chiropractor and physiotherapy to help you make the right decision based on your needs.



How are chiropractic care and physiotherapy similar?


Both a physiotherapist and a chiropractor can provide a drug-free approach to your health. While both are licensed and expert health professionals, they use only non-invasive techniques in order to manage the body’s pain, discomfort, or limited functionality. These techniques are often hands-on and may focus on wellness plans that extend beyond what can be achieved in one session.


There can be some overlap between the two types of car, since the difference between chiropractor and physiotherapist care is often found in their philosophy of therapy. They may even be able to co-treat some of the same conditions.


What’s the difference between a chiropractor and a physiotherapist?


While pain-free movement is one of the primary goals of physiotherapy, chiropractic care focuses more on pain relief, especially as it relates to the alignment of the spine.


Physiotherapy can focus on the whole body and how it functions by utilising exercises, stretching, and some manipulations in order to improve mobility. Chiropractic care will focus more specifically on pain found in the back, neck, and head, as well as in the joints found along with the limbs. A chiropractor will use gentle manipulation to promote the self-healing of the body, like trigger point therapy or deep tissue massages. These manipulations and adjustments may need specialised spaces and equipment. Physiotherapists are a little less hands-on, giving more attention to exercise-based approaches.


Key differences between a chiropractor and a physiotherapist


The key differences between physio and chiropractor treatments are mainly found in the methods.


Physiotherapy techniques may include:


  • Comprehensive exercise plans

  • Active muscle work

  • Joint mobilisation

  • Soft tissue manipulation

  • Electro-modality use


Chiropractic techniques may include:


  • Chiropractic adjustments

  • Spinal manipulation

  • Postural correction

  • Nutritional advice

  • Rehabilitation exercises

What does a chiropractor do?


A chiropractor's primary focus is the spine, which is why many people associate them with back problems. Chiropractors use unconventional medical treatments, mainly using their hands, to address disorders affecting functions of the spine and its effects on the nervous system. Mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system can have a big impact on how your body functions and your general health. A chiropractor will aim to help your body heal itself by intervening with manual treatments and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation.


When to see a chiropractor


Since a chiropractor will only use their hands to help relieve pain, it can be a good idea to see a chiropractor before attempting a more invasive or surgical treatment. People of all ages can use chiropractic care for a number of health conditions. They tend to focus on pain found in the back, neck, muscles, bones, or joints. However, chiropractors can also help with pains such as headaches and other conditions not affecting joints and muscles. Although there is little evidence, chiropractic care has been associated with aiding problems with asthma, allergies, and even mental health.


What to expect from chiropractic care


Chiropractors are concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. In order to achieve this goal, they will need to evaluate your symptoms by using physical exams and tests. This helps determine if chiropractic care is the best option for you and what techniques are most likely to help.


After this, they can provide adjustments using hands-on techniques to decrease inflammation and pain, like gradually moving joints into different positions. They may use short and sharp thrusting movements, pulling and stretching to the muscles, or spinal manipulation (using hands to apply force to the spine’s muscles, bones, and joints). A chiropractor may also recommend practising at-home exercises and lifestyle adjustments.


What does a physiotherapist do?


A physiotherapist focuses on boosting your quality of life by improving ability to move and function without pain. They specialise in the rehabilitation of acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) joint and muscle injuries.

They often use a variety of intervention techniques to treat their clients. A physiotherapist will use their hands, introduce exercises, or even use electro-modalities such as ultrasound or TENS machines to treat injured areas. Physiotherapy is the most commonly known form of “manual therapy” due to its prevalence within the NHS.


When to see a physiotherapist


Physiotherapy can be helpful for all types of people, from injured athletes to office workers experiencing neck pain. It’s a good idea to seek treatment from a physiotherapist if you feel pain when moving or if you have limited movement after something like an accident or surgery. It can also be used as a preventative measure or to maintain and increase ease of mobility.


Some health conditions may require physiotherapy treatments in order to build strength and combat symptoms.


Physiotherapy could help if you suffer from:


  • Osteoarthritis

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Strokes


What to expect from physiotherapy


Physiotherapists take an all-encompassing approach to the body. Instead of simply focusing on the physical injury or illness, they will also look into what mental or social factors may be affecting the patient. For example, a patient with a stressful environment can lead to muscle tensions and back pain. A physiotherapist will be able to evaluate mobility, flexibility, and pain as well as psychological factors in order to determine what treatment will be best.


A physiotherapist will generally:


  • Provide advice and education on how to improve your wellbeing and avoid the risk of injury

  • Recommend exercises and stretches designed to improve mobility and relieve pain

  • Provide manual therapy by using their hands to manipulate and massage the body


Physiotherapy may also include other treatments like heat or cold therapy as well as ultrasound therapy which can improve blood flow, decrease pain, and encourage the healing process.


Chiropractor or physio - which is best for me?


The best way to determine what type of therapy is best for you is dependent on your specific conditions and needs. Physiotherapy can cover a broad scope of options for patients and work on a number of conditions. This means you can find specialised care, such as physiotherapy for sport-injuries. However, if you have pain or find it difficult to move around, both chiropractic and physiotherapy could be useful. The best way to know for sure is to ask!


The best way to determine what type of therapy is best for you is dependent on your specific conditions and needs. Physiotherapy can cover a broad scope of options for patients and work on a number of conditions. This means you can find specialised care, such as physiotherapy for sport-injuries. However, if you have pain or find it difficult to move around, both chiropractic and physiotherapy could be useful. The best way to know for sure is to ask!


Book your appointment with one of our expert physiotherapists or chiropractors today! Call us on +44 (0)203 893 5100 or click here to book your appointment online!


#physiotherapyinbank #lowerbackpain #backpai #chiropracto #sportsclinic #treatment #neckpain

76 views