Maple Grove Chiropractors vs. Physiotherapists vs. Osteopaths: Pick Wisely to Heal Faster
Chiropractic Maple Grove. Osteopathy, physiotherapy, and chiropractic are all holistic approaches to treatment that focus on treating the body as a whole. By working to repair injuries and correct misalignments, each of these methodologies can improve a person's overall quality of life. As similar as these three specialists are, they are not interchangeable.
Chiropractors, physiotherapists, and osteopaths all study anatomy, biomechanics, and physiology for at least four years, but each specialist treats patients using different techniques suited to certain types of injuries or mobility issues. Without understanding the differences between these three fields, Maple Grove patients risk choosing the wrong specialist and prolonging their treatment or rehabilitation.
What is chiropractic care, and what does it treat?
Chiropractic care is a hands-on approach that alleviates pain in a patient's joints, muscles, and spinal column. Maple Grove chiropractors use manual manipulation, adjustments, and instruments to treat a wide variety of issues, including:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Lower back pain
The most common form of chiropractic care is spinal manipulation and mobilization, which involves applying brief, short thrusts to the spine and moving joints through several positions. But this isn't all you should expect during a session.
Your chiropractor may also work with you to stretch, strengthen, and rehabilitate your limbs and extremities to restore normal body movement. For example, sessions may focus on treating issues related to your hips, elbows, feet, or other joints that are not directly connected to the spine.
As we'll learn in the next section, there is some overlap between chiropractors and physiotherapists. However, one thing that often separates chiropractors is their use of diagnostic imaging. X-rays are an essential component of chiropractic treatment that helps your practitioner understand the source of your pain and develop an effective treatment plan.
What is physiotherapy, and what does it treat?
Physical therapy also takes a hands-on approach to care. However, the main way it differs from chiropractic care is physiotherapists focus more of their undergraduate studies on the use of exercise therapy and rehabilitation. This specialization enables them to treat a variety of musculoskeletal problems as well as issues that arise from diagnoses such as:
- Heart attack
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson's disease
While Maple Grove physiotherapists may incorporate movements similar to those that chiropractors offer, adjusting a patient's spine or mobilizing their joints is usually not the main focus of treatment. Instead, most physical therapy sessions concentrate on creating an exercise regimen tailored to the patient's injury, which patients can eventually continue without the help of a physiotherapist. Regimens might involve simple bodyweight movements, pool exercises, or light cardio.
Beyond mobilization techniques and exercise plans, physiotherapy may incorporate other supportive treatments, such as hot and cold therapy, dietary planning, or acupuncture.
What is osteopathy, and what does it treat?
Osteopaths take a high-level, broad approach to treating their patients. While chiropractors and physiotherapists tend to agree that all of the body's systems (circulatory, nervous, muscular, etc.) are connected and interdependent, osteopaths take this belief further by trying to fix everything at once. They employ this methodology to treat a number of conditions, which may include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Heel and arch pain
One of the foundational ideas of osteopathy is that the human body is very good at healing itself under the right conditions. When specific issues hinder the healing process, an osteopath attempts to hone in on the root cause and eliminate it.
Like chiropractors and physiotherapists, osteopaths may provide massage therapy, spinal manipulation, and other hands-on treatments. However, they budget significant time to study how lifestyle change can improve patient outcomes.
When to see a chiropractor vs. a physiotherapist
In most cases, Maple Grove patients seeking treatment options for sciatica, back pain, neck pain, or tension headaches should see a chiropractor first. With their specialization in spine and nervous system health, Maple Grove chiropractors create personalized treatment programs that decrease pain in the short term and set patients up for healthy futures.
If you're coming off a recent surgery or suffering from a degenerative disorder that impairs your mobility, a physical therapist may be the better option. A specialist will work with you to create a sustainable exercise/movement routine to improve your quality of life.
When to see a chiropractor vs. an osteopath
The deciding factor between chiropractors and osteopaths usually comes down to specificity. While chiropractors often dole out health recommendations that go beyond spine health, everything they do is grounded in an expert understanding of the musculoskeletal system. If you believe that you are suffering from a specific issue related to your back, a chiropractor is almost certainly your best bet.
Osteopaths, on the other hand, are more generalized and also tend to incorporate more traditional medical treatments. Spinal adjustments and mobilization tend to be one part of a larger plan. For patients struggling to determine the root cause of their issue, this broad approach to treatment may be best.
Chiropractic Maple Grove
Hundreds of patients in the area have found relief from chronic muscular or skeletal pain through the expert care of Dr. Tieri at Total Spine Health and Injury Center. If you'd like to find out if this non-invasive, drug-free treatment is your best option for pain relief, schedule a consultation today.