Who Should I See? GP, Physio, or Chiro?
Doctor vs Physiotherapist vs Chiropractor
If you’re in pain, it’s time to get yourself to a medical professional, though knowing which one to see can be half the problem!
Doctors, physiotherapists and chiropractors can all help with similar aches and pains, and many people get confused as to the differences between these professions and when to call each one.
Let’s take a look at the primary differences between doctors, physiotherapists and chiropractors and consider when each professional is the best one for the job.
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In order to determine which specialist you should see, let’s look at what each specialises in.
What Does A Doctor Do?
- Doctors are medical professionals who diagnose and treat illnesses or injuries.
- They often prescribe medication, such as antibiotics or painkillers as well as recommend lifestyle changes like dieting or exercise or even specialist recommendations and referrals.
What Does A Physiotherapist Do?
- Physiotherapists work with people to reduce pain and disability from injuries and illnesses by helping them improve their physical fitness, relieve stress on the body’s joints and muscles, and reduce any abnormal muscle tension in the body.
- Physio’s are able to do this through a variety of treatments including:
- Hands-on manual therapy techniques such as massage or joint manipulation
- Rehabilitation exercises for restoring movement
- Mechanical aids such as braces or ankle supports
- Or even electrotherapy.
What Does A Chiropractor Do?
- Chiropractors are trained health professionals who use a variety of non-surgical treatments, usually focused on the manual adjustment of the spine, to help relieve pain, improve joint function and range of motion, strengthen muscles, and reduce stress on the spine.
- Chiropractors are often classed as ‘alternative’ medical practitioners.
Which conditions do Physio's & Chiro's work with?
Both chiropractors and physiotherapists work primarily with musculoskeletal disorders. They might be a good choice if you’ve been experiencing joint pain, back pain, or muscle soreness for some time now.
For instance, they may help to identify and manage the source of your discomfort – which could be arthritis in one or more joints, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or another condition.
When To Call A Doctor
- It’s important to call a doctor for serious problems with unknown causes, or in cases where the pain is severe enough that a prescription of painkillers might be necessary.
- Since doctors are the only health professionals who can diagnose more serious illnesses or prescribe medication, often a doctor might be involved in cases where it’s simply necessary to rule out more sinister underlying causes first, before going on to work with a physiotherapist or a chiropractor to deal with symptoms.
When To Call A Physiotherapist
- A physiotherapist may be the best person to call if you have an injury or illness that has caused discomfort for more than three months, with little improvement.
- Physiotherapists should also be your go-to for general joint and muscle pains in areas like the feet and hands.
When To Call A Chiropractor
- A chiropractor is often a great choice if your symptoms are recent and quite mild – for example, stiffness or general discomfort.
- As experts in muscospinal disorders, chiropractors should also be your first port of call for issues that you suspect are related to the spine, which can include neck pain and back pain.
- If you’re not sure which type of health professional to see, the best advice is usually to seek a doctor’s opinion first and they will point you in the right direction.
Get In Touch With Us
At CQ Chiropractic, we can help you with a range of muscospinal problems including back pain, neck pain, and more.
Our team are heavily experienced & trained as well as super friendly and caring. We also have early & late appointments available to suit everyone.