Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy are treatment methods/approaches that are conservative and non-invasive and are both practical options. Both address health concerns, like various types of pain, automobile, work, sports, and personal injuries. Both are focused on helping individuals achieve long-term results and maintain health.
Chiropractic and physical therapy are usually done in combination, complementing one another. There are benefits and similarities between the two treatment options. Here are some general guidelines to decide which treatment option is best for your needs.
Chiropractors provide quick relief to individuals dealing with pain and joint stiffness, particularly the spine. They are experts in spinal realignment and proper posture. If flexibility is limited or the joints are locking up, a chiropractor is recommended.
Physical therapists, or PTs, are experts in body biomechanics and soft tissue injuries. If an individual finds themselves moving differently because of pain or injury, training and exercise will help movement and maximum recovery.
Chiropractors follow a meticulous expert-based protocol for achieving the best results. They provide a hands-on approach to treatment that requires regular follow-ups and maintenance. This is an approach that some individuals prefer. Physical therapy treatment/rehabilitation programs are typically short-term. The average treatment usually lasts only 12 weeks. A physical therapist’s primary objective is to provide a fundamental understanding of how to move properly and self-manage symptoms for the long term. This usually includes a balanced exercise program.
Insurance plans vary in what is covered. The first step is to see what an individual’s insurance will cover. Benefits can be found online or by calling a representative to see how to get the care/treatment needed. Most plans cover some form of physical therapy. Chiropractic is also usually covered by insurance providers. Skipping the insurance can also be done with chiropractic clinics providing affordable options.
There is no clear-cut answer as to which to see. A physical therapist or chiropractor. Individuals should follow a doctor’s recommendations on which treatment type would benefit them. If no recommendations have been given, look at a clinic’s website to see what they are about. Fortunately, many chiropractic clinics include physical therapists as part of their medical team. Both chiropractic and physical therapists provide dynamic benefits for increasing and maintaining overall health.
Drink according to thirst
The body knows when it needs water. Therefore drink when you are thirsty, not before. An adequate fluid intake should be timed according to feelings of thirst.
Estimate hourly sweat loss
Those that exercise or engage in regular physical activities for prolonged periods should weigh themselves before engaging in the exercise/activity. Then drink according to thirst as the event continues, and weigh yourself after the activity. The goal is to maintain the same weight or be slightly less. If an individual weighs more than what they drank, they drank too much.
Excess water consumption
If an individual is not thirsty, the recommendation is to not drink water in excess. Nausea and even vomiting could ensue. A simple indicator to determine if enough water is consumed is checking urine color. If it is colorless or slightly yellow, an individual is drinking enough water.
American Association of Physical Therapists. www.apta.org
Cherkin, DC et al. A comparison of physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and provision of an educational booklet for the treatment of patients with low back pain. The New England Journal of medicine vol. 339,15 (1998): 1021-9. doi:10.1056/NEJM199810083391502
Fritz, Julie M. Physical therapy in a value-based healthcare world. The Journal of orthopedic and sports physical therapy vol. 42,1 (2012): 1-2. doi:10.2519/jospt.2012.0101
Shrier I. Does stretching help prevent injuries? Evidence-based Sports Medicine. Williston, VT: BMJ Books; 2002.
The information herein on "Chiropractic Treatment or Physical Therapy: What Are My Options?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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