Sarah, would you go to a Chiropractor?
A question that I’ve gotten more than once.
My initial answer is usually rather vague. That is because I have never been to a chiropractor. However, for every one person who hasn’t been to a chiropractor I’ve met someone who swears by theirs.
Both chiropractors and PTs in the outpatient setting work toward the same end. We are trying to relieve pain/ dysfunction in order for you, the patient, to live your life to the fullest potential. However the approach is different. As a rough break down, a PT’s approach is to restore function through movement. A chiropractor’s approach is to improve pain/function through manual spinal adjustment. Another big difference is the scope and the setting of where PTs and chiropractors practice, which is a result of the nature of their approach. Chiropractors primarily work in an outpatient setting. A PT can practice in outpatient, hospital, school setting, home care, military, or nursing home and may see a wider variety of pt diagnosis. Through my biased opinion, I would like to think chiropractors and PTs are totally different, however there is a definite overlap. PTs will do manual adjustments and chiropractors will prescribe exercises, and both look to improve/modify posture, ergonomics and daily (bad) habits to relieve discomfort.
Below is a quick break down of the differences between a PT and Chiropractor.
|Vision Statement||High Standards, Freedom of Choice, Optimal Health||Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.|
|General Expertise||Focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine.||Expertise in human movement and restoration of all movement related dysfunctions|
|Education||Require to pass a Medical Licensing Board
No Residency/Internship required, but have the option to complete if accepted and desire to
|Require to pass medical Licensing Board
minimum of 30 weeks of full time internship. Residencies exist in all specialties
|Practice Setting||Generally private practice. Some are employed by health systems and hospitals. Generalist practice, neurology related, orthopedic related, and general alignment restoration dealing with the skeletal system.||Acute care, Inpatient/Outpatient Neurologic Rehab, General Outpatient, Orthopedic, Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Military, Sports Medicine, Women’s & Men’s Health, Wound Care, Work Rehab, Electrophysiology, etc.|
|Specialization||Orthopedics, Pediatrics, General Rehab, Internal Disorders, Radiology, Neurology, Nutrition, Occupational Health, Sports Med, Forensic Sciences.||Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Women’s Health, Neurology(SCI, TBI, MS, ALS, CP, Parkinson’s, etc), Cardiovascular & Pulmonary (COPD, CHF, etc), Clinical Electrophysiology.|
Would I go to a Chiropractor?
The answer is Yes. However I still have a bias. As a PT I have a broad scope of knowledge of how conditions can be managed. However I don’t know everything. In some/many scenarios a spinal adjustment is what is needed to relieve the issue and a chiropractor would be the first person I would go to. However, the goal should not be to go to a chiropractor or a PT indefinitely. The goal would be to receive the treatment and education/techniques to maintain your improved status. It then falls on you in order to change/improve upon the bad habits that caused your issue.
Which at the end of the day is very empowering.