Why Doctors Underprescribe Physiotherapy

What’s the difference between chiropractic and physiotherapy? Ever since the first reported chiropractic manipulation was performed by Daniel Palmer in 1895, the field of physical medicine has been split into two competing schools of thought for treating common back pain. But today both chiropractors and physiotherapists are professional healthcare providers working side-by-side to aid patients in the treatment of common musculoskeletal aches, pains, injuries, and traumas.

Physiotherapy is designated as a specialty within the U.S. primary health care system, while chiropractic care is considered alternative care. Physiotherapists also play a major role in the physical rehabilitation of patients recovering from surgical procedures or hospitalization.

While chiropractors focus on spinal manipulation to correct mechanical alignment, physiotherapists focus on strength, range of motion, and reconditioning. In the past, these differences have created tension between the professions, each claiming their approach to be more efficacious. But today practitioners in both disciplines recognize the potential benefits of the other. That may explain why a growing clinical trend is to provide patients access to both disciplines within the same practice group.

For Common Back and Neck Pain, Which One Should You Choose, Chiropractor or Physical Therapist?

Spinal manipulation, in many cases, may provide quicker back and neck pain relief than physiotherapy. Many chiropractors recommend a schedule of regular “adjustments” to treat the underlying condition.  Physiotherapy, on the other hand, provides more opportunity to isolate and treat the underlying cause, leading to greater independence and a lower risk of recurrence.

Keeping these differences in mind, ask your chiropractor and/or physiotherapist how you can take advantage of both approaches for optimum pain relief and permanent resolution of your spine-related problem(s).

For more information on the benefits of physiotherapy treatment for your unique condition, please contact us.


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