Experts estimate that up to 75% of the global population suffers from neck pain. That makes this pain disorder one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions in the world.
Do you suffer from neck pain? Then you’re probably wondering: should I see a chiropractor or a physiotherapist? After all, both professionals specialize in treating musculoskeletal disorders.
Today, we’re guiding you through the chiropractor vs. physiotherapist distinction. That way, you’ll feel confident choosing the best professional for your unique needs. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Chiropractor or Physiotherapist: What’s the Difference?
Chiropractors and physiotherapists have a lot in common. Both professionals specialize in treating pain without surgical intervention. They even treat the same types of conditions, including neck pain.
But what exactly does a chiropractor do? And how does that differ from what a physical therapist does? We’re breaking down the difference next.
What Is a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors are licensed health care professionals. After getting an undergraduate degree, these professionals attend five years of medical education. During this time, chiropractors learn all about spinal health.
Studying to become a chiropractor is highly specialized. Chiropractors only use their training to treat disorders of the spine. This also makes them spinal experts, ideal for conditions that other specialists have trouble treating.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractors’ main goal is to restore normal spinal function. The technique chiropractors use to achieve this goal is called chiropractic. Chiropractic incorporates body massage and gentle adjustments of the spine.
These non-intensive treatments help to reduce all kinds of pain, including:
- back pain
- knee, hip, and elbow joint pain
Of course, chiropractors can also treat neck pain. They do so by first evaluating a patient’s medical history and performing functional exams. The patient will then receive spinal adjustments to help with the pain.
Chiropractors don’t just use chiropractic techniques, though. They also recommend home exercise plans and lifestyle changes to treat patients’ conditions.
What Is a Physiotherapist?
Physiotherapists are also known as physical therapists (PTs).
PTs hold Doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy (DPTs). This degree requires four years of post-undergraduate schooling. A physiotherapist must also hold a license to practice.
During their DPT education, physical therapists learn a broad scope of techniques. As such, these professionals can treat a wide array of conditions and complaints. But that also grants PTs less expertise when it comes to treating disorders of the spine.
What Does a Physiotherapist Do?
Physical therapy involves developing individualized care for patients with movement disorders. These care plans will include exercises and stretching routines to do at home.
Importantly, physiotherapy care focuses on the health of the soft tissue surrounding the spine.
The goal of physical therapy isn’t just to reduce pain. Many people see physiotherapists after an injury or accident. That’s because the techniques PTs use can help people regain movement and prevent future injuries.
Physiotherapists also commonly treat patients with movement disorders like:
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Like chiropractors, PTs educate patients about lifestyle changes they can make to reduce pain.
Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor vs. Physiotherapist for Neck Pain
Going to see a chiropractor or physiotherapist is an excellent idea if you’re dealing with neck pain. Both health care professionals will go through your medical history and give you a muskoskeletal exam.
If you need any x-rays performed, both chiropractors and physiotherapists are trained to deliver them. After diagnosis, you’ll receive a treatment plan. This treatment plan could change over time as you get closer to your goals.
Many people use physiotherapy and chiropractic to alleviate their neck pain. But why should you choose a chiropractor over a PT? Here are a few reasons to consider.
Chiropractors Specialize in Spinal Disorders
Remember when we mentioned that chiropractors only study the spine in school? For some conditions, this can be disadvantageous. But their education also makes chiropractors experts at treating spinal disorders.
It’s well-known that problems in the spine can cause neck pain. Getting your spine adjusted at a chiropractors office can help eliminate your neck pain once and for all.
Chiropractors Are More Accessible
Did you know that you don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor? That’s right: you can head to the nearest chiropractor near you without first needing a referral from your physician.
This is much different from seeing a PT. You must get a referral to see a physiotherapist and, even then, your PT can limit the treatments used based on insurance eligibility.
Chiropractors Will Save You Money
In a study, researchers discovered that chiropractic care and traditional medical treatments for neck pain cost about the same. The difference? Chiropractors produce much better, longer lasting results.
In fact, another study found that chiropractic was even better than medications for treating neck pain.
Chiropractic services also cost significantly less than physical therapy sessions. At the same time, a chiropractor can provide more immediate relief compared to a PT.
Ultimately, you’ll save money in the long run and achieve more robust results when you choose to see a chiropractor for neck pain.
Looking for Chiropractors Near Me?
When deciding between a chiropractor vs. physiotherapist, you’ll feel better no matter which professional you see.
Yet, seeing a chiropractor for neck pain has its advantages. Advantages like better specialization and more accessible clinics.
Need chiropractic care in Singapore? You’ve come to the right place. Use our search bar to find a professional chiropractor near you!