Should I see a Chiropractor or go to Physical Therapy???

A patient case scenario “My back has been hurting for the past 6 months and getting worse so I decided to see my medical doctor for help.  After telling my doctor about my lower back and how it has been hurting, he gave me a prescription for anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxers, and a prescription for physical therapy.   I asked about going to a chiropractor, and he told me he didn’t know anything about chiropractic and I could try it if I wanted to but to be careful”.

This is a very common scenario because most people and medical doctors don’t know what a chiropractor treats.  Most people think that chiropractors treat back and neck pain which is just a symptom of what it is they treat.  A chiropractor treats a condition called a Subluxation.  A subluxation is a misalignment of a vertebra or combination of vertebrae in the spine that leads to nerve irritation which can cause a whole host of unwanted symptoms like back and neck pain.   Any joint in the body can subluxate and can be treated by a proficient chiropractor.  The sacrum/tailbone or ilium/hipbone are common nonspinal bones that can be subluxated and cause lower back and sciatic pain.  Many back surgeries that have an unsuccessful outcome are because the problem lies in the sacrum or sacral iliac joint and not in the spine.

Physical therapist treats back and neck problems and a host of other physical conditions.  Their goal is to rehabilitate the soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons) of the body that are responsible for moving the joint and supporting the joint.  Physical therapy plays in important part in helping patients recover from soft tissue injuries and surgeries.  All chiropractors are also Doctors of Physiotherapy which provide the same function as physical therapy type work.  Most state insurance regulations do not allow chiropractors to bill for Physiotherapy so they do not practice physiotherapy which is an unfair practice.  If the spine is out of alignment (subluxated) it must be put back into alignment to correct the cause of the condition.  If the subluxation is not corrected the condition will persist.  No stretching, strengthening, medication, or surgery is going to correct a subluxation.

If you are having back pain don’t expect your medical doctor to refer you to a chiropractor.  You don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor.  Start with a chiropractor first and get your spine checked.  If it is not a misalignment problem your chiropractor will refer you to a Physical Therapist.   If you are having persistent back or neck problem click on the link or call my office to get your spine checked.

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