When you are suffering any sort of muscle or joint pain, it can be difficult to know what kind of treatment you need. Many patients often ask the differences between chiropractic and physiotherapy.

How do you know the difference between a Chiropractor + Physiotherapist?

There can be quite a bit of overlap between the two professions. Both chiropractors and physiotherapists aim to treat joints and musculoskeletal problems to decrease pain, correct movement, increase strength and help return you to full function. However, like many other disciplines, there is a wide spectrum of treatment styles in both chiropractic and physiotherapy. It is important to not put the entire profession in a box after seeing one professional. The core difference between the two is that a chiropractor use joint manipulation, where a physiotherapist will more commonly use mobilization techniques.

What is meant by Chiropractic manipulation?

Chiropractors use their hands to adjust the joints of your spine and limbs where signs of restricted movement are found. A chiropractor can use a grade 5 manipulation (a high velocity, low amplitude thrust) while a physiotherapist are often limited to grades 1-4 (low velocity, lesser amplitudes). The beauty of a grade 5 manipulation is that it often allows for instantaneous improvement in range of motion and pain relief! Adjusting a joint can help restore the normal range of motion and also acts upon a pain receptor to help relieve pain (pain gate theory). Every year there is more research supporting the benefits of chiropractic manipulation.

A common misconception is that you may need to continually keep coming back to a chiropractor to keep out of pain. This is definitely not the case, especially here at Performance Chiropractic. We are movement specialists, and hone in on how to change your movement, rehab your injury and make permanent positive changes! But if you like most of us here at the clinic, you enjoy an active lifestyle where injuries unfortunately happen (or maybe you’re trying to become more active but pain is in the way) and we are here to help you keep doing what you love.

Chiropractors treat acute and chronic low back and neck pain, sciatica, neck related and tension headaches, sports injuries and extremity joint conditions. At Performance Chiropractic + Sports Rehab we use Active Release Therapy to treat soft tissue injures. Active Release Therapy is similar to an active, moving type of massage.

If your back or joints feel locked, stiff, and sore or maybe haven’t responded to other treatments, then a consultation with a chiropractor is recommended.

Muscle tears or post-surgery problems are more commonly treated by physiotherapists as well as joint and muscular problems which are restricting movement and causing pain.

The first priority is to just get yourself examined professionally and your practitioner will advise which treatment is best for your condition – and refer you accordingly.

Both Chiropractors and physio-therapists will also give exercises and advice to help manage injuries and medical conditions.