I’m in pain, do I go to a Physio or a Chiro?
Throughout my years in practice, I quite frequently get asked this question. So I thought I would blog about it this week, and clear up a few misconceptions, at least from the chiropractic end. I would like to start by saying that contrary to popular belief, chiro’s and physio’s do like each other and get along very well! The truth is, each has a special part to play and neither can think of doing the work of the other.
I have patients that I have suggested see a physio in addition to the work that I do with them. Physio’s help with rehabilitation exercises post injuries, after I have worked on their spinal alignment. Physio’s do a great job in prescribing strengthening and reconditioning exercises, muscle release, stretching and joint mobilisation.
My area of expertise is in the human spine and improving the communication between the brain and the rest of the body. I do this by removing interference along the spine. People typically come in for low back pain, sciatica, headaches, neck and shoulder pain which can result from sitting too long at their desks. My job is to find misalignments of joints along the spine and remove them. This takes pressure off joints, reduces inflammation around nerves and allows muscles to relax and start working properly again. If a patient has a chronic (long standing) condition, they would really benefit from strengthening exercises.
In my practice, I focus on posture correction. I correct posture by releasing stuck tissue deep within the spine and then realigning joints along the spine. After that, strengthening exercises are recommended and seeing a physio is a great idea! I don’t claim to be able to properly guide a rehabilitation program and so referring to someone who does it very well is a must. Similarly, purely strengthening muscles around the spine isn’t the complete answer either, so looking at spinal alignment is necessary too.
So the answer is this. If you are in pain, or not, you need to find the therapy that best works for you. Both have great roles to play, and I would consider seeing both.
Chiropractic has also been used for years as preventative alternative medicine, and in my opinion, getting a spinal assessment early, before pain, is a great idea. You could learn a lot about your body and see how great your body was designed feel. It is not necessary to be in pain to see one of us. So care for your spine. It is the only one you have. Never stop looking for answers or the therapy that will give you the best results. There are many, great quality practitioners out there, be it physio’s or chiro’s. It is your job to find the right one, and what works best for you.
Dr Aline Dahdah