Chiro vs physio?

Discussion in 'Injuries and Prevention' started by matveimediaarts, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Those who follow my log know I hurt my mid/low back earlier this year (doing deadlifts). I'm thinking a chiropractor is the way to go, but perhaps you would advise a physiotherapist of some sort? Your feedback is greatly appreciated. :)

    Ciao for now.
  2. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Definitely advise a physio over a chiropractor in your case - after you've seen an orthopedist. I think you are going on several months now with problems, right? And its still giving you fits?

    Many chiros will work on you the minute you walk in.

    I don't know of any physios that would work on you without a doctor's initial evaluation and script for therapy - for good reasons.
  3. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Depends if you go private or public right (in Europe at least. Maybe not in that barbaric land you live in :p ) ?

    I've been to plenty of physios that have started work on the problem after I've explained what it is then moved around, stood on one leg, put my hands up etc etc.
  4. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    Physiotherapy is recognised as a legitimate health profession and is supported by peer reviewed medical research and evidence based practice. I have no personal experience of chiropractors but I know that their profession is not backed by the former evidence base.

    Physio all the way for me.
  5. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I would start with a proper diagnosis by a Dr. Then make your decision.

    I know many people on MAP dislike chiropractor's, but they have been very good for my health. I have used them regularly for decades. Although right now I only see mine a couple of times a year, because My neck issues are doing well.

    But some chiropractors think they can fix everything, when IMO they should be used for very specific spine related health issues. Hence, I would need to know the diagnosis before saying a chiropractor is a good or bad idea.

    I haven't had easy access to physiotherapists with my insurance, so I don't know much about them. But if they aren't Dr's, I would still think getting a Dr. Diagnosis would be the first step.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  6. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    The odd thing is I've had pretty decent results from chiros when I've had back or shoulder problems and got absolute jack from physios.

    Which ever one you decide to see id suggest you ask around and research the ones in your area and find a decent one.
  7. frownland

    frownland 【ツ】

    Considered osteopathy? Osteos are, as Knee Rider points out regarding Physios, tertiary qualified and govt accredited.
  8. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    There seams to be a split between people that like chiropracters and those that like osteopaths.

    Personal I go for osteopaths as in my experience they tend to get more feedback from hands on feeling muscle tension and have in my opinion a better ability to read the problem. That said I know of one example where the osteopath did a manipulation poorly creating an injury that took 6 months to recover.

    Just to add more confusion to the mix. a friend of mine had bad back problems and was perscibed physiotherapist led Pilates sessions. They really helped him.
  9. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Physio vs Chiro vs Osteopath vs..

    It's not unlike looking for a martial arts place/teacher.

    Some people have had good experiences and will tell you how good it is. Some people will show you that the person has 'X' qualification and it means they are great/safe/magicians etc. Some people like the way the instructor interacts with the class and others think differently.. Much of muchness.

    That being said here are a few points. No one profession owns manipulation and depending on where you are in the world people are familiar with one or more manipulative professions. IF the injury is relatively acute and does not refer down the leg past a certain point and there are no aberrant neurological signs/symptoms then any of the manipulative professions might be helpful.

    For recurrent or longer term problems then you need a different approach and manipulation may be only a minor part of that programme. Again this could be provided by any on a number of different health professionals. Even within the same profession you will see different approaches and they can be equally good or bad. You have to watch all professions for loopy behaviour.

    Since we don't know too much about you all I could say is look for someone in the area with a good reputation, check their credentials and their licensing and then ask about their approach to treatment. Anyone who signs you up for regular sessions whether you need them or not does not seem to be looking at getting you better and becoming an independent person. Look for approaches that allow you to take control of your body and life in the long term and then use what you might need as first aide if necessary.

    Don't get too hung up on which profession as I am sure that there are both good and horror stories about any group you discuss.

    Manipulative practitioners: Physio/Physical therapist, Chiropractors, Naprapaths, Naturopaths, Osteopaths, Medical Doctors (GP's and Specialists), Etiopathists, Dit Da/Tui Na practitioners etc

    The list for long term management is even longer but a good start is to look at the work of Dr Stuart McGill and Dr Hamilton Hall (separately). Again less worry about stuff being done to you and more about getting control of what is going wrong and causing the back to become sensitive.

    Every profession has someone who will tell you they can fix you cheaply and easily. Don't believe it. Only YOU can really fix yourself IMHO.

  10. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    This is a difficult topic in some ways but here's something that you , and many others haven't really thought about. A person is liable legally whether they have a doctor's referral or not. This being the case physical therapists, and others eg DC's etc, have developed assessment methods to see when it is safe to treat a patient and when a consultant should be consulted.

    Physios in a number of countries have been able to treat without a referral for years. In my office in Canada I was responsible to see the musculoskeletal patients as a primary contact practitioner. If I had a concern then I could refer patients to the GP or to Emergency depending on my findings.

    Interestingly it is not uncommon these days for doctors to do a minimal examination so there is little safety for a physio to act on a doctors referral since that is no protection under the law.

    You will find that it is becoming the same in the US slowly but surely. The problem you have is that each state has separate licensing and there are huge fights about who can see who when cash is involved. Physical Therapists in the USA now commonly have a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and use the title doctor. This is partly because of the growth of the profession and also because many insurers will only pay if the person treating is a ''doctor''.

    Hope that this makes sense.

  11. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter


    I think the Continent freer in that regard and apparently, Canada as well. I remember calling around for the wife when she was having issues with tightness and mobility in her shoulders and neck:

    "Who is your referring doctor?" and/or "What is the diagnosis?"

    "We don't have a referring physician but..."


    Willing to pay out of pocket (just curious as to what their "retail" rates would be, mind you)? - they'll just laugh at you.

    I really doubt if there are any "laws" that explicitly forbid a physical therapist/physio from treating patients without referrals - its just the way things have shaken out due to the monolithic military industrial com- excuse me - I meant, medical-insurance industrial complex, footprint on nearly everything.

    Yes. Some not commonly known tidbits of info there as well.
  12. CMM

    CMM New Member

    An earlier poster recommended that the OP see an osteopath. As this is an international forum with many members in both Europe and the US, it's probably worth reiterating that US and European "osteopaths" are quite different. Details here.

    The OP might consider seeing an (American) DO, as they will be fully trained and licensed as physicians and may also engage in manipulative treatments. Whatever healthcare networks you have access to through your insurance almost certainly include some DOs. Some do manipulative therapy, some don't. You may need a referral from your PCP, depending on your insurance plan.
  13. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    For us Yanks, that roughly translates to "He's both a surgeon and a chiropractic" :p

    Ja, I know...not what is said but any translation needs to be of the good/evil/black/white/yes/no/on/off/0/1 variety :D

    Seiously, though, good post. I didn't realise that regarding DOs.
  14. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    You know that I forgot you were ''over there''...

    I trained with an osteopathic consultant who was specialist in manipulative medicine in Washington State. Historically often D.O.'s in the US were G.P.'s but there were also a good number who were members of the traditional allopathic specialties. Interestingly I found that the US D.O.'s often used physical therapists to carry out physical medical treatments.

    Oh you mention the continent and the UK but Australia was the first and physiotherapists had independent practice there long before any where else in the world. There are lots of old colonies about and osteopaths were an overlap between the medical and alternative systems in the British systems. A doctor could become an osteopath in a relatively short period of time and this was one alternative to orthopaedic medical practitioners in the system. I have seen non-medical osteopaths working in physiotherapy departments in the UK at times to give patients some variations of treatment that weren't always available.

    :' D

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  15. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Thanks for the helpful answers, all! :)
  16. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    I don't know for fact, of course, but a hunch that a fair amount of medically creative ideas were to be found along the road that joined the two worlds.

    Canna say for the rest of the world but as far as it goes here, I'm getting the impression that, in the zeal to regulate and standardise - a meritorious goal in many respects - roads to discovery are inadvertently being closed off.

    You still playing rugby??
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  17. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Playing rugby? I typically stand in the way of Fat boys as they stagger across the pitch!!

    :' D

    Will continue until I drop (or they cut my leg off!)

  18. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    That's the way to put 'em in their place [​IMG]
  19. Sandy

    Sandy Valued Member

    Physiothery's evidence based. Chiropracty isn't. Hence I'd go with physio. Like anything, however, physios vary and so I'd try and find one that's well recommended if you can.

    I'd also second the recommendation about Pilates for injury avoidance. Or 'clinical Pilates' for recovery from injury.
  20. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    I have an update. I saw my primary doc recently. He said “see a specialist”. Thus, I am going to get an appointment with my sister's physio...whenever I get hold of them. They aren't good about answering/returning calls. :/

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