Physiotherapists and Chiropractors both undertake years of study to qualify in their professions. They both deal with injuries and trauma to the human body.

Many people confuse the two, believing that the services of either are interchangeable, but they have very different goals. Physiotherapists promote the independence of the patient, providing immediate relief and working towards prevention of future injury and education of the patient.

The history of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy over Chiropractic

Physiotherapy or Physical Therapy has a long history dating back to 1813. Modern physical therapy was established in Britain towards the end of the 19th century. Treatments developed were applied and further promoted during the Polio outbreak of 1916.

During the First World War, women were recruited to work with and restore physical function to injured soldiers, and the field of physical therapy was institutionalized. The first physical therapy research was published in the United States in March 1921 in “The PT Review.”

Today, Physiotherapy continues its scientific evidence-based approach to the treatment of  physical impairments, injuries and disabilities. Physiotherapists are experts in movement and function who work in partnership with their patients. Physiotherapists have a commitment to ongoing education constantly improving their skills and knowledge and keeping up to date with new research.

Physiotherapy is a form of “hands-on” or manual therapy which is very safe. Physiotherapists use a combination of gentle manual therapy techniques called mobilisations – low force, low amplitude joint movements. These are combined with massage and the prescription of a home exercise program. Physiotherapy treatment is aimed towards self management and reliance.

The history of Chiropratic

Chiropractic is a complementary and alternative medicine and an approach to healing concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) system and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic was founded in 1895 by bee keeper, grocery store owner and magnetic healer, D.D. Palmer, in Iowa.

Chiropractors emphasize manual therapy including joint adjustment and manipulation with particular focus on joint dysfunction/”subluxations. Far reaching claims and lack of scientific evidence supporting this as the sole cause of disease has led to a critical evaluation of a central belief of chiropractic and the appropriateness of the profession’s role in treating a broad spectrum of disorders that are unrelated to the NMS.

Spinal manipulation, which chiropractors call “spinal adjustment” or “chiropractic adjustment”, is the most common treatment used in chiropractic care. Spinal manipulation is a passive manual high force which causes an audible release and attempts to increase a joint’s range of motion.

Manipulation is regarded as relatively safe, but complications can arise, and it has known adverse effects, risks and contraindications. Sustained chiropractic care is promoted as a preventative tool, but unnecessary manipulation could present a risk to patients.

So who should you choose?

As well as it’s foundations in scientifically proven methods. Here are several other advantages of Physiotherapy over Chiropractic treatment

Manual Therapy: A Wider Range of Treatment

When it comes to dealing with the human body as a whole, physiotherapy is more suited for the occasion. Chiropractors deal with problems of the spine and the muscles that are responsible for the movement. When another problem arises, however, the chiropractor will always adjust the spine, even if the problem resides in an arm or a leg. Physiotherapy, instead, will focus on the injured limb itself in order to provide relief and ultimately to provide a solution for the problem.

Physiotherapy: Practitioners have Better Skills

Those who are trained in physiotherapy have a wider range of skills at their disposal. The skills of a physiotherapist put greater emphasis on the therapeutic techniques that can be used to improve upon a situation and eliminate the problem or it’s recurrence in the future. A chiropractor, on the other hand, focuses on the problem at hand to provide immediate relief alone.

Physiotherapy: Less Likely to Cause Further Injury

There are recorded instances of patients who have gone to a chiropractor and ended up with worsened symptoms or additional injuries. This is due to the fact that some techniques used by a chiropractor are not suitable for all problems, despite the fact that this is what their training is focused solely on. Physiotherapy, on the other hand, uses scientifically tested evaluation methods including, for example, manual tests, and Real Time Ultrasound (RTUS) to examine the injury or weakness in order to determine which treatments would work best. They also avoid high force manipulations and use low force manual techniques.

Ultimately it remains a personal choice but we sincerely believe in the scientific, evidence-based approach in which Physiotherapy has it’s foundation and future.


9 responses to “The Benefits of Physiotherapy over Chiropractic Treatment”

  1. Jen Pack says:

    My husband got in a car accident a few years back and his body has never felt quite the same. We have been trying to decide which line of treatment to go with and I really like the benefits you give of physiotherapy. I like how you point out that not only does physiotherapy help get your body back in motion but it also makes the chances of further injury go down. In addition, it seems to me that physiotherapy is a very natural treatment that works very well with your body. We’ll be sure to look more into this!

  2. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that physiotherapy is a very safe practice. My daughter injured herself while playing softball, and I want to get her treated, but I don’t want anything invasive or dangerous done to her. I’ll definitely look into taking her to a physiotherapist so she can get the help she needs. Thanks for the great post!

  3. I learned a lot about physiotherapy by reading this article. I really like how you explained that “the skills of a physiotherapist put greater emphasis on the therapeutic techniques that can be used to improve upon a situation and eliminate the problem or it’s recurrence in the future. A chiropractor, on the other hand, focuses on the problem at hand to provide immediate relief alone.” I have never been to a phisiotherapist before but I can imagine how helpful one can be when it comes to eliminating pain for ever.

  4. I really like that physiotherapy is safer. The last thing I need when I’m injured it to get injured more. I think I’ll stick with a physiotherapist over a chiropractor.

  5. I like that physiotherapy actually, focuses on the area that is hurt. I have a problem with my feet. Chiropractors have not been able to fix my feet. I will have to give physiotherapy a try. I think it is my best hope.

  6. Gipson says:

    he reason why Physiotherapy has been accepted as an effective treatment method around the globe, is due to the fact that the approach taken to improve a condition is without the help of any medication at all or in certain cases, with the minimum amount of medication

  7. Braden Bills says:

    I’m still getting over my leg breaking, but it’s taking a while. I didn’t know that physiotherapists were such a good option for this! I’ll make sure that I see one, since I could definitely use the help.

  8. Thank you for sharing this article. I could say that I was able to gain information in this article. Very informative and reliable, great work.

  9. Maria says:

    The only thing I can say is that in my case the chiropractor changed my life for the better. The chiropractor I highly recommend is John Francis from WCC.

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