Physical Therapy vs. Chiropractic Care: Which Treatment Option is More Effective for Back Pain?

Exploring the Benefits of Physical Therapy

If you experience chronic back pain, it’s important to seek professional treatment to encourage healing and prevent further damage. However, with so many treatment options available today, how do you know which professional to see? Fortunately, there are two types of therapy approaches that specialize in correcting the spine, nerves and muscle tissue: physical therapy and chiropractic care. Before you choose the type of therapy, it’s important to understand the similarities and differences to help you make a more informed decision. 

The Differences between Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care 

Injuring your back is never a pleasant experience. Luckily, there are effective, research-proven ways to manage your pain without relying on medication. No matter what type of treatment is recommended by your doctor, most patients can see drastic improvements within a matter of days or weeks. Below, we examine the differences between physical therapy and chiropractic care, including the roles each treatment plays in your recovery:

Physical Therapy

  • A Broad Range of Applications: A physical therapist or physiotherapist can do the work of a chiropractor such as spinal manipulation or muscle release techniques in addition to personalized rehabilitation to ensure that you make a full, permanent recovery.  
  • Injury Prevention: Physiotherapists develop individualized treatment plans that focus on strengthening and rehabilitating the body so that patients become stronger, which help prevent future injuries. Your physical therapist will work with you to identify issues or patterns so you can learn how to avoid long-term problems. 
  • Reduces Your Need for Medications or Invasive Treatment: A physiotherapist can help your entire recovery team make better decisions regarding your injury. With their knowledge and expertise, a physiotherapist can make suggestions that reduce your need for pharmaceuticals or surgery. 
  • Best for Traumatic Injuries: If you were in an accident or recently had surgery, physical therapy may be your best option. Physiotherapy can help you rebuild your strength and improve your range of motion in the affected area.  

Chiropractic Care 

  • Targeted Treatment Plans: A big belief in chiropractic care is that each body is different and, therefore, requires individualized treatment. A chiropractor will evaluate each patient and determine how to adjust their bodies to offer relief from pain. However, manipulation may be the only technique used in some cases and therefore, limit the problems chiropractors can treat. 
  • Non-Invasive Solution: Chiropractic care is a non-invasive treatment option which usually correlates to a lower risk of complications in comparison to surgical methods. Though, some patients may not respond well to manipulation techniques, resulting in worsening or additional injuries. 
  • Near-Immediate Relief: Patients who have regular adjustments can usually expect to feel relief from chronic pain in a short amount of time. This is because manipulation techniques alleviate the pressure on your nerves and muscles, which help reduce pain. Still, chiropractic care requires on-going adjustments, whereas physiotherapy works to fully restore function and prevent future injury.   
  • Best for Gradual Pain: One of the causes of back pain can be stress which impacts your musculoskeletal system, causing pain to emerge gradually. Another cause may be a pinched nerve, interrupting your body’s normal function. For these cases, regular adjustments from a chiropractor can help significantly reduce your pain.   

If you are experiencing back pain, our only concern is that you make a full recovery so you can feel better. Both physical therapists and chiropractors could be the key to your problem, depending on the severity of your injury and the type of treatment you are looking for. For patients who are considering physical therapy, visit a licensed professional at Medical Rehabilitation Centres of Pennsylvania (MRCP). We know that your busy schedule doesn’t stop, just because you’ve sustained an injury. That’s why we offer immediate access to our therapy services to treat you sooner so you can make a faster recovery and get on with life. Visit our clinic to speak with one of our skilled and experienced specialists who can tailor an individualized care plan according to your needs. 

Book an appointment for physical therapy treatment today. Contact us at the location of your choice or complete our online form and we will get back to you soon. 

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