Your pain may make it obvious that some form of medical help is needed. However, where should you turn first? How can you know what kind of care will most suit your situation? What types of services would most benefit you and your condition? Wondering which is better, a chiropractor or physical rehabilitation therapist? Let’s talk about your options.
You do not have to fully know all that may be known about your ailment or injury to begin choosing care. However, understanding a bit about the cause may be helpful in determining which type of care will be the most beneficial. Choosing between physical rehabilitation therapy or chiropractic for neck pain, sciatica, and any number of other conditions does not have to be a daunting task.
Injuries and ailments that have an impact on one or more joints can benefit greatly from chiropractic care. Tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles all work together to help us move and operate our limbs. Pain conditions that affect these pieces of the body are best cared for under the supervision of a physician trained in matters of the musculoskeletal system. The field of chiropractic focuses on musculoskeletal and neuromuscular care.
Muscle-related injuries and conditions will often fair well with strength building treatments offered through physical rehabilitation therapy. Muscles use force to direct the actions of our limbs. This force is directed into movement through the connections between the bones and muscles. If pain or discomfort prevents us from using muscles and related portions of the body due to injury, physical rehabilitation therapy can help to rebuild those muscles without causing further damage.
The truth of the matter is that a good number of injuries do not affect only one type of material in the body. Rather, when an injury has been sustained, the stress and strain of the impact (or cause of the condition) affects both muscles and joints. These portions of the body are meant to work together. This means that they are interconnected.
Therefore, when impact strikes placing strain on muscles, the local tendons and ligaments will often feel that impact as well. Much like a ball that hits a net. The ball may actually touch only a small portion of the net. However, the remainder of the net is moved as a result of the impact of the ball hitting that one small portion of the woven net.
This can mean that nearby joints will need attention, as well as the affected musculature. The same is true for the reverse. We may primarily feel pain within a joint, but nearby muscles may begin to react to the pain as well. Painful joints can easily benefit from attention that would help to stabilize and strengthen the structure of their counterpart muscles. Joints are where our bones connect.
This is important to understand because, when alignment is not as it should be, nerves are not able to efficiently do their jobs in communicating with the muscles. The central nervous system loves to connect the brain to the rest of the body. When the information centers in the body get jammed up we feel pain. Clearing the body of this need for pain is an important step in a lasting recovery.
Perhaps, you do not recall having sustained an injury. Underlying conditions may not have originated from an impact experience. Such conditions in the body can result in overcompensation of muscle activity. Any number of life experiences may be at the base of what has caused pain. However, the fact remains that, if joints and muscles have both been affected, it may be most effective to try to combine care for long-term results.
Chiropractic care is often thought of as something that only relates to the spine. In fact, the body’s ability to work as a complete unit plays a large role in how chiropractic care operates. Techniques are designed to bring the body’s communication pathways back into alignment for better function. From this, neuromuscular functions in the body are better able to help heal themselves. Work for strengthening and rebuilding muscles will also be considered when it may be beneficial for the patient.
Physical rehabilitation therapy for the lower back works to help build a strong core and help the body’s structures to function at their best. Therapy techniques work to enhance what the lower back is able to do for the rest of the body. Pain in the lower back can cause an increase in physical difficulty throughout the body because it is central to the body as a whole. Treatments work to minimize this possibility as well as diminish pain and the reason for pain.
Chiropractors and physical therapists each have medical training that brings them to work with patients for the purpose of healing and wellness. Chiropractors draw their care to focus on healing through holistic treatments that lean toward care of the skeletal system, nerves, and muscles. Physical rehabilitation therapists will most often direct their time with patients to bring healing to weak or damaged muscles and nearby portions of the body. Specializations for each will vary per choice of the individual physician.
Yes! Chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation therapy are a great combination for many patients. Depending on the underlying condition, severity of the situation, and a patient’s personal goals and desires, this type of combination can offer great rewards. Such combinations can help to improve recovery times and create a more lasting experience and help to decrease any risk for reoccurring injuries.
Combining care may not be needed for every patient’s situation, but it is definitely worth asking how your pain condition may benefit from both chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation therapy treatments. Strengthening and stabilizing muscle structures can go a long way in helping patients recover efficiently and effectively. Once a diagnosis is made, you and your care provider can begin to navigate between how much of each will most benefit you.
If you wish to use insurance, does your insurance company want you to start with one type of care or another? Can you maximize your coverage options by overlapping care types? Overlapping care types may help you take advantage of the fact that more than a single bit of your inner body has been affected by your pain condition.
It may also be that your insurance will only pay for one type of care at a time. If this is the case, you may still benefit from having received both chiropractic and physical rehabilitation therapy for your condition. Insurance may also require a renewal at some point during your care. Speak with your care provider and find out how they may be able to help you navigate the paperwork to your best advantage. When insurance is not an option, ask your provider about cash payment discounts.
Getting a diagnosis is really the first step toward healing. Once you know more about your injury, condition, or ailment you, along with your physician, will be better able to determine the best course of action for recovery. Yes, attending to the instructions of a physician once a diagnosis is given is important – but first comes a medical review that culminates in a diagnosis.
What can be tricky is if you remain uncertain on which type of physician to see to gain that diagnosis. Let’s review. Joints and muscles love the attention they receive through chiropractic care. Muscles that need a push toward improved strength may benefit greatly from physical rehabilitation therapy techniques. The manner in which the body functions means that there will often be much overlap in the course of a full recovery. Choosing your care may not be as hard as it seems.
Better Health Chiropractic offers a unique option as both physical rehabilitation therapy and chiropractic care are attainable at each of our four clinics in Alaska. This offers the option for patients to begin care and easily transition to that which is most needed as healing progresses. Receiving chiropractic and physical rehabilitation therapy at the same time is very much a positive option.
Once it is determined what type of treatments will be most efficient for a patient, care is then orchestrated from the same location, using the same insurance set up and patient guidelines. Staff members are ready to help you navigate insurance options for both chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation therapy. This not only minimizes the need to repeat steps, it also helps direct a more efficient healing process. Bonus: fewer transportation complications!
Give us a call today at 1.877.346.5255 or find us online!
Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.