Who is Better – Chiro or Physio?
Is it a muscle pain? Is it a nerve pain or a bone pain? Do I see a physio or a chiro?
I get asked this all the time. With good reason – no one wants to waste time or money getting the wrong treatment from the wrong person.
So to help you avoid wasting any time or money in the future here is a no BS answer…
BIAS DISCLAIMER: I am a chiropractor and have been for the last 8 years.
When I first started out, I was excited to help people. As a young man a chiropractor changed my life, and so I wanted to do that for others. As I worked with more people, I got great, sometimes incredible results. But there was always a small percentage of people who, no matter how I adjusted them, or what I did, they just didn’t get the same results.
Not one to quit, this led me to look for answers. I became almost obsessed actually. In my quest I have spoken with other doctors, studied text books, attended seminars and workshops all over Australia, New Zealand and even the USA.
When I found something new I would try it. If it worked I kept applying and refining, if it didn’t I kept looking for answers.
So now 8 years on and fortunately I’ve been extremely busy over that time and have had literally tens of thousands of consultations.
This amount of work and study has given me a unique insight into back pain. I have seen people from all walks of life with all sorts of back and neck problems and I am now thoroughly convinced it’s NEVER a case of nerve OR muscle OR joint OR disc…
It’s NEVER one thing. (If only it were that easy!)
But first, some brief anatomy…
Your nerves control your muscles. Your muscles control your joints and discs. Your joints and discs allow for movement all the while protecting your nerves.
You can think of it like dominoes. Mess with one and they all fall down.
That means, if you want to correct the problem, we need to address them all, and in the right order:
- Get the bones in place and the joints working properly. (Many physios now manipulate joints, there are weekend courses they can attend to learn some of these skills. As a chiropractor, I spent 5 years of university training dedicated to the art of adjusting spinal joints safely, painlessly and expertly. In fact I have delivered hundreds of thousands of adjustments. Even the slowest learner picks up a thing or two after doing that much of anything!)
- Break down old adhesions and scar tissue in the muscles. Trigger point therapy and remedial massage are perfect for this. Because, if you don’t heal the muscle, you can get all the adjustments in the world, but they won’t hold. And how do you strengthen a muscle that is all knotted up…
- Strengthen the weak muscles. This means an individually tailored exercise program that specifically targets problem areas. Its simple, a strong back is a good back, and if you get this right, it will prevent old injuries from recurring.
- Retrain your nerves. Have you ever know someone who could make something really difficult, look really easy? Take Tiger Woods for example. When he was at the top of his game he didn’t need to “think” about his swing. He had practised it so much, for so long it was automatic. His swing had become a ‘reflex’. Well, when you have back pain, your body has been compensating and developing bad postures for a while. To prevent your body sliding back into its old ways you should undergo neuromuscular re-education (NMR). This reduces the risk or re-injury.
Soooo, chiro or physio?
Surprise, it’s not that simple. Like I said, there are physios who do weekend courses to manipulate now. Likewise there are courses where chiros can learn rehabilitation exercises.
It actually comes down to the individual practitioner. Nowadays the lines between physio and chiro are blurred. It’s no longer chiro vs physio.
It’s finding the person who is going to go above and beyond and do whatever it takes to get you better. At the very least, they need to address everything I have mentioned above, that is if you want more than just relief, if you want a long term correction.
We have grown over the past 8 years so that we have health centres in Cowra, Mudgee and Bathurst where our practitioners apply these procedures and principles to all our patients. I am proud to tell you, we have the experience you need.
If you have been struggling with back pain or neck pain, get a consultation to see if you qualify for our specific progressive rehab program.
In your service,
Dr Jesse Middleton
Dr Jesse Middleton is a wellness expert, leading chiropractor, speaker and natural health advocate. Dr Middleton is a respected, highly regarded master chiropractor whose passion is to teach people how to achieve health for themselves and their family regardless of genetics, age, and history. His Chiropractic Health & Wellness Clinics, onsite corporate and business wellness programs and ergonomic assessments provide people of all backgrounds with the practical tools necessary to build their own health towards the path to true wellness.