What’s the difference? Who should I see?
These are questions I get asked a fair bit, and that’s because it gets harder to tell the difference between the professions. The lines have become blurred.
In a nut shell, Physiotherapy came about to rehabilitate after injury. Their job is to help you, mainly through exercise, to remediate and re-establish movement, strength and function.
Originally Chiropractic came about through the concept that poor nerve supply caused disease. Therefore Chiropractors principally worked on the spine to remove nerve interference to allow the innate healing ability of the body to restore and maintain good health. These days, however, many have become focussed on pain treatment and use therapies and modalities that would make it more difficult for the average person to tell the difference from a Physio.
Originally Osteopathy came about through the concept that poor circulation was the problem. So they spend more time doing massage and mobilisation to improve circulation. Once again, their focus is now more likely on pain management.
Further, there are “sports chiropractors” and “manipulative physiotherapists” for example, all vying to treat your pain or ailment.
In the instance that you want relief from your pain, you just need to find someone you are happy with and helps you achieve your objective. Asking your friends is a good source of recommendation.
However, many chiropractors still function from the position of providing a service more aligned with Chiropractic’s original philosophy. The concept that you are ALWAYS better off without nerve interference at the spinal level. That you will be the better version of yourself after being adjusted. Regardless of your symptoms.
More and more research is being conducted to provide scientific validation for this position.
So, if you want to receive a service that works toward helping you be your best, allowing your body to heal itself, keeping you as well as possible for as long as possible, then look for a Chiropractor who provides that service. That is where you will find the difference between the professions.