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Ask the Chiropractor: What’s the Difference Between Chiropractic and Physical Therapy?

by Oasis Wellness Partners on November 15, 2020       Oasis Maine - Chiropractor

What’s the difference between the two and which one do I need are questions we get asked often. The easiest way to find out whether you need a chiropractor or a physical therapist is to know the primary focus of each.

Chiropractors use more of a hands-on approach to heal musculoskeletal and joint problems. Physical therapists focus more on exercises to strengthen and heal muscles. Since joints and muscles work together, as everything is connected, there is overlap between the two. Joint problem? Head to a chiropractor.

Muscle issues? You’re probably better off seeing a chiropractor, who can then recommend a specialist if need be.

What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a series of medical treatments that focus on restoring flexibility, mobility, and strength to parts of the body that may need special attention, by focusing on movement impairments and related issues. Physical therapy centers most often work to help patients with injuries, weaknesses, and recovery from surgery. Physical therapy works to treat the patient using techniques that build on one another as mobility increases. Therapies will often begin by restoring range of motion and flexibility and then increase strength as care progresses. Athletic injuries, car accidents, faulty staircases, and dozens of other life experiences may be the reason for the injury. If an incident is traumatic enough, surgery may be required prior to the start of physical therapy.

What Is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care works to reduce pressure and tension within the body, alleviate pain and inflammation, align the spine, and bring healing to the body as a whole. The goal of chiropractic work is to align a patient’s spine and allow the entire musculoskeletal system of the body to come into alignment naturally.

Chiropractic care is centered around solving mechanical disorders found throughout the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. The process of healing is accomplished through the use of chiropractic adjustments, exercise instruction, and the inclusion of nutrients.

Neuromuscular system retraining works to help the brain properly recognize signals that are sent throughout the body, minimizing incorrect pain transmission signals. After an injury has healed, sometimes the body will still think that it needs to communicate pain signals. Chiropractic care is therefore a great treatment for chronic pain sufferers.

The field of chiropractic works not only on the spine but also brings a holistic approach to medical care that incorporates other issues that patients may experience. Other illnesses include asthma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, and many more. Chiropractic patients find that caring for the unseen parts of the body helps ailments that may have dominated their daily lives.

Chiropractic also addresses degenerative and inflammatory pain conditions.

Chiropractic care often includes tasks that are similar to physical therapy. Mobility, strength and safe, healthy movements are on the list for both types of care. Chiropractic takes a more ‘whole-body’ approach and seeks to get at any underlying causes that may have taken part in the reason for medical care.

Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Southern Maine

Call us at our Scarborough Maine office to make an appointment for you and your family to get an initial spinal check and discover how chiropractic care can help your body heal and feel better: (207)883-5549.

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