Many people visit a chiropractor and think that they wouldn’t benefit from a physiotherapist and vice versa. The reasoning is often that people think these two professionals do the same thing—but that’s not accurate. Both are effective approaches to many musculoskeletal ailments, including neck and back pain, headaches, sports injuries, knee and shoulder issues, and more. That is why overlapping or combining physiotherapy (also called physical therapy) and chiropractic can be hugely beneficial.
Let’s have a look at how and why chiropractic and physical therapy combine:
The role of chiropractic care is about finding issues with the spine and the problems associated with an unhealthy spine. People will also visit a chiropractic when they are suffering from headaches, dizziness, migraines, and non-pathological balance problems due to the unnatural spinal curvatures or movements. Once the source of the issue has been located, chiropractors perform “adjustments,” or a controlled stretching of the tendons and ligaments that connect the spinal to stimulate the nervous and promote healthier movement.
The physical therapist looks more into restoring functional movements and range of motion to joints and regions of the body that are recovering from injury or surgery. Generally, treatments consist of mobilizations, such as slow stretching the tendons and ligaments, releasing muscles, exercises, massage therapy and electrotherapy. Most patients receive corrective exercises meant to strengthen places like the core and shoulders and tips on how to maintain healthy posture.
Why You May Need Both
Although the work chiropractors and physical therapists seems to be different, there is one obvious similarity: both professionals address pain in the body and aim to increase function and range of motion. When both disciplines are combined, you receive a complete sphere of care, ensuring the body heals quickly and healthily.
For example, if you go to a chiropractor for pain in the low back, they can perform adjustments to return the spine to a normal state, while the physical therapist will help you strengthen and stretch the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints that were affected by the low back problem.
Another example would be getting a knee injury in sports. While you might first go to a physiotherapist to assist with healing the damaged ligaments, the limp that resulted from the injury could have affected the spine. You will need to visit a chiropractor to have them make adjustments.
Lastly, you might want to get a second opinion on injuries or other problems you are experiencing. Both professionals view injuries a little differently, so they will go about treating issues with alternative modalities. By combining chiropractic care and physical therapy, you receive well rounded therapies that treat more complex or lasting injuries.
So, can chiropractic care and physiotherapy be combined? Of course! Not only that, but you should consider visiting both professionals whenever you have an injury or nagging problems or movement dysfunctions. Working with a physical therapist and chiropractor together ensures the best of worlds and more care to treat underlying issues.