How can a chiropractor or physiotherapist help ensure the body is in an optimal state for physical activities? What do they actually do?
Chiropractors and physiotherapists are healthcare professionals who focus on the musculoskeletal system and work to improve movement and function, with different approaches to treatment. They have both undergone a minimum of at least 4 years of university education, understanding how the body works, and assessing it for conditions that involve disruptions to the muscles, joints, and nerves.
What is the difference between a chiropractor and a physiotherapist?
The main difference between a chiropractor and physiotherapist can lie in their treatment methods. Chiropractors are trained to assess and treat conditions related to the spine and nervous system. They use manual techniques such as spinal adjustments, mobilisation techniques, and soft tissue therapies to help improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and improve nerve function. They may also utilise other modalities to improve joint movement, such as using an Activator, drop techniques, or a flexion-distraction bed.
Physiotherapists, on the other hand, use a variety of techniques such as exercise therapy, manual therapy, and electrotherapy to help reduce pain and improve function. They focus on developing personalised treatment plans for injury prevention, helping to strengthen and fix muscle imbalances in the body, and teaching ways to manage or reduce pain in the long-term. Their manual techniques also differ from a chiropractor in that it focuses on releasing tightness in the muscles, and addressing tendon or ligament sprains through the use of cross-friction techniques, or shockwave therapy.
How do chiropractors and physiotherapists work together?
Here are some ways chiropractors and physiotherapists can help ensure the body is in an optimal state for physical activities:
- Reducing pain and inflammation, which can be a barrier to physical activity. An injury causing inflammation can often cause joint restrictions, which a chiropractic adjustment can address. A physiotherapist can also provide specific movements or exercises to do which will help reduce inflammation and hasten recovery.
- Improve joint mobility and flexibility, which can help prevent injuries and improve physical performance. As mobility improves, it also helps with circulating inflammatory substances away from the area of injury, reducing pain. Physiotherapists can help with muscle tightness, which also gives a similar method of relief as a chiropractic adjustment – it also depends on what your body needs.
- By assessing movement patterns and identifying potential areas of weakness or instability, to help prevent injuries and optimise performance. They can also develop rehabilitation programs that combine chiropractic adjustments for body mobility and also address specific injuries or conditions, which helps patients regain strength and function.
- Provide guidance on exercise and nutrition/lifestyle habits to help support optimal physical performance. For someone who is looking to gain muscle mass and improve their strength, nutrition goes hand-in-hand with exercise and good lifestyle habits. Eating enough protein, fibre, sleeping well, and reducing stress are all important factors in improving recovery times and builds a good foundation to see the benefits of chiropractic & physiotherapy care.
In summary, the joint effort from both chiropractors and physiotherapists is to ensure the body is in an optimal state for physical activities by addressing pain, improving range of motion, preventing injuries, providing rehabilitation, and optimising performance. Recovering from an injury can be tough, but we can help you get back into exercising – get in touch with us today!
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