Chiropractic or Physical Therapy: Which is Right for Me?

Chiropractic care and physical therapy are both methods of treatment that are considered conservative and non-invasive. Both take a holistic approach to addressing your current health concerns, such as pain, with the goal of helping you achieve long term results. With a quick overview, it’s easy to see there are a lot of benefits and similarities between the two treatment options. So how do you decide what option is best for you? Below are some general guidelines to decide which treatment option is best for your needs.

What are your primary symptoms?

  • Chiropractors are known for their ability to quickly provide relief to individuals dealing with stiffness in the joints, particularly the spine. They are the experts in spine alignment and posture. If you find your flexibility is severely limited or your joints are locking up on you, a chiropractor is definitely your top choice.
  • Physical therapists (PT) are the experts in body biomechanics and soft tissue injuries. If you find yourself moving totally different due to pain or injury, getting trained in how to better move can maximize your recovery.

What is your learning style?

  • Chiropractors, particularly those certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), follow a rigorously tested expert based protocol for getting you the best results. They provide a more hand-ons approach to your treatment that requires consistent follow-ups and maintenance- a method that some people prefer.
  • Physical therapy treatment programs are usually short term in nature, with the average treatment lasting only 12 weeks. A PT’s primary goal is to provide you with a fundamental understanding of how to move better and self-manage your symptoms for the long term with a balanced exercise program.

What does your insurance cover?

  • Each insurance plan will vary in what it is covered. With finances being a big concern for most of us in seeking medical care, first see what your insurance will actually cover. Look up your benefits online or call a representative to see how to get the care you need. Most plans will cover some form of PT. Plus, It is becoming more commonplace for insurance to cover chiropractic care.
  • Many chiropractic offices prefer to charge a flat fee for their treatments. If you prefer to skip insurance altogether, chiropractic clinics can provide affordable options that you will know the cost of upfront. This is becoming more commonplace in some PT practices as well.

The Bottom Line

If you have had good results with one type of professional or have received specific recommendations, you can start there. One of the best ways to make a choice to to look at a clinic’s website and see if their values match yours. There is no clear cut answer to the question of whether you should see a PT or chiropractor. In fact, it’s why many chiropractic clinics have physical therapists as part of their medical team as well. Each healthcare professional provides unique dynamic benefits for boosting your overall health. Regardless of your choice, you can expect to be in good hands.