Should I see a Chiro or a Physio? Don’t they do the same thing? Isn’t it just based on who mum and dad saw when I was a kid? There are some distinct differences between these two professions. But the similarity is that we all care about our clients and want to see you all get back to your best.
Chiro at its core has a specific focus on skeletal function and structure. Alternatively, Physio’s focus more on muscular groups and biomechanics. In this article we will explore the main differences and when to see a chiro or a physio. We will also look how these professions overlap and attempt to bridge the gap.
Physiotherapy – Biomechanics and Muscle balance. Getting these working together effectively
Disorders in movement are what physios specialise in assessing and treating. Biomechanics is the study of how the body moves and functions mechanically from a joint and muscle perspective. A break down in biomechanics may cause a tightening and weakening of muscles. Musculoskeletal Physios often work with those who have mobility issues, muscle pain or tension, shoulder and knee pain and sports or exercise injuries among other complaints.
Seeing a Perth Allied Health Clinic Physio will generally involve a consult to assess the situation and specific needs of the patient, discuss the patient’s goals, and developing a management plan so those goals can be reached. Often the plan will involve changes in lifestyle, addressing exercise habits, diet and mental health.
Chiro – The Spine as the foundational structure and it’s connection mechanically and neurologically to the rest of the body
Skeletal and joint issues are what chiros have a specialty in assessing and treating. This frequently involves back, and neck issues, headaches, extremity issues and many more conditions. People often picture a chiro just cracking the spine. The reality is that as five-year trained professionals, what a chiro does is far more complex and specialised than this. Using a range of other modalities, like soft tissue techniques and dry needling as well as specific and targeted exercises to help build strength at key areas.
What chiropractors really do is deal with restricted motion of the spinal vertebrae. When a vertebra stops moving and functioning properly it can result in pressure and tension build up, pain, interference in nerve function, inflammation at the spine and muscles tightening around the are to try and correct and protect the area. A spinal adjustment is what rectifies this specific vertebral problem.
Generally, a consultation is spent discussing the specific needs of the patient, followed by a hands-on treatment focused on dealing with the issue. If the patient is suffering from a sore lower back, then the Chiropractor might perform a spinal joint adjustment along with other muscle therapy technique, like dry needling or myofascial release to alleviate the pain but address long term structural issues with targeted rehabilitation.
So, what really is the difference?
If we boil down the differences down to their simplest level it really is in how we target a specific problem that is the key. Chiropractors generally use a more hands-on approach, whereas a Physio will tend to plan and select treatment options that are less hands-on and involve at home exercises to build strength in key areas.
The main Similarities
Recently, the two professions have started to look more alike. The stereotypes of the past are generally unfounded and based on outdated information or a bad experience with a poor practitioner. The reality is some people will respond better to one than the other. This often has a lot more to do with who your practitioner is, and how they approach your case rather than their specific set of treatment modalities. Remember: pick your practitioner, not the profession.
At Perth Allied Health Clinic, we treat the body holistically and have a variety of options to suit every person. Our Chiropractors use a well-rounded approach, which may have traditionally been held by physios. We work off getting short-term relief and long-term results.
So, Which One Is Better?
Generally, an individual will prefer one or the other. At the end of the day it will depend on your own personal preferences and situation.
Do you have spinal pain that you are suffering from? If so, then a chiropractor may be able to assist you more with hands on care. If there is emphasis on a long-term change in function as well. Are you searching for a long-term solution or quick fix? The reality is neither a chiro or a physio will be a magician and you generally will need some ongoing care to properly address an issue. If an at home targeted rehabilitation program is what you want from care. A physio will be perfect in providing one for you.
In conclusion, neither one of these professionals is inherently better than the other – It depends on your complaint and your preference.
If you want any further information from Perth Allied Health Clinic about Chiro or Physio, contact us on 0476252599 or look a look at our website.