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Should I see a Physio or a Chiropractor?

At one point or another, everyone gets injured.

Whether the pain starts just from bending down to hang up the washing, an intense footy preseason or even a car accident, sometimes there is just too much strain on our bodies, and we need someone to help set us back on our feet. But who should I see; a physio or a chiropractor?

Man with back pain

Some people will say that’s easy to answer; physios are for sports injuries, and chiros are for back pain.

However, sadly it isn’t that simple.

If it isn’t that simple, then what is the answer?

In order to understand the answer to this seemingly innocent question, first you must understand the differences between the two professions.

While physios work mainly with sports and movement injuries and sometimes disease rehabilitation, this is usually only the case when something goes wrong. This is what we call crisis management, and it aims at fixing a problem that has already happened. There are plenty of instances when physios will help you get back on track with their soft tissue approach, massages and exercises specific to your injury. And yet…

Prevention is ALWAYS better than a cure!

Although most people won’t see a chiropractor until the pain becomes unbearable, after this crisis is averted chiropractors can help prevent things getting worse with long term spinal care. Why should you be going to a dentist at least once a year? To make sure you don’t have any cavities. This is so you can get on top of any problem before biting into a carrot becomes a nightmare.

Your spine protects the spinal cord which works with your brain to control nerves that coordinate your entire body, and many people never get it checked. Why aren’t you getting your spine checked for small problems before deterioration or before you’re in pain?

Spine Xray

Just like dentists, chiros can help with crisis management AND long-term health and preventative care. This is also true of many long-standing health problems that you might have, such as headaches, back pain, neck pain, or many other general health and well being issues.

Chiropractors also have a different approach to physios. While your physiotherapist might massage you, they often have little to no training on spinal manipulation. Physiotherapy university degrees last 4 years full time, but the 5-year chiropractic degree focuses on spinal structure, function and control; that is, how the spine and why the spine works like it does. Most chiropractors won’t massage you and will instead give you an ‘adjustment’. This is when the chiro will realign your spine using a range of techniques to let the messages from your brain better reach the rest of your body, allowing it to heal and work properly again! Sounds pretty cool to me.

Although there might seem like a lot of differences, at the end of the day both health professionals should be dedicated to getting you healthy and pain free and should know lots about the human body. You will come across both good and bad chiros and physios, just like hairdressers, and this could be because of their personalities or their techniques. We’ve all had that haircut where we first look in the mirror, pretend to smile, and have already started calculating where we can find a new hair dresser.

It might sound obvious, but you need to find the right person for you.

This is something else that your health professional, whether it’s a chiropractor or a physio, should keep in mind, so if they aren’t the right person for you they should be happy to set you onto someone who is.

Dr Janine Adams

How does this help you answer the all-important question; should I see a chiropractor or a physio? In a nutshell, for a long-term solution to a long-standing health problem a chiropractor is your way to go, but if you are looking for a quick fix to a surprise injury try a physio.

If you want to find out more about how chiropractic could help you, visit our website or Facebook page and call 02 6009 099 to book in! Our amazing staff are always happy to help you.


House of Chiropractic xx

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