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Chiropractic VS Physiotherapy: What's the difference?

You wake up with a sore lower back. The nagging shoulder pain that has been bothering you for years has finally reached an unbearable point. Your neck and spine are stiff and heavy from being hunched over a computer screen 8 hours a day. You think to yourself: “Maybe the time has come to finally get some help and treatment”.


If you are currently experiencing pain (or have in the past) caused by repetitive motions, work/sport-related injuries, motor vehicle accidents, or just everyday activities, you may be considering physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment. However, you may be unsure as to what each profession entails and what treatments are characteristic of each specialty. What are the advantages to each? What treatments will they perform? Will they provide exercises? These are all frequently asked questions that we will answer for you below.


At first glance, physiotherapists and chiropractors may seem alike, but there are definitely some noteworthy differences between the two. Although both are specialists in their own field and can assist with a wide variety of health issues to make you feel better, each patient has a unique case that may be better treated by one professional.


A chiropractor focuses more on diagnosing and treating issues related to the spine, including improving function and mobility. Complications related to the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (shoulders & mid-back), and lumbar spine (lower back) are prime areas of treatment. Chiropractors often treat issues such as headaches, strains and sprains, neck pain, back pain, hip pain, and leg pain. The chiropractors at MetaTherapy use a mixture of manual muscle techniques, adjustments, acupuncture, and manipulations to correct the alignment of the spine and help return your body to a healthy state.


A physiotherapist focuses more on joint movements and limb functions of each body part working together in the body as a whole unit. Mobility patterns of joints such as the neck, shoulders, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles are common points of interest for a physiotherapist. The main goal of a physiotherapist is to eliminate muscle weakness and imbalances caused by surgery, sport/work injuries, and everyday overuse. Through targeting specific muscles in the body and strengthening them, we are able to rehab damaged muscles & joints to restore ideal functional movement.


Truth is, our physiotherapists and chiropractors often work side by side in treating patients and will frequently cross-refer to each other when they feel that a patient needs another form of treatment. Ultimately, the goal is for you to improve your health, eliminate your pain and get you back to an active, healthy lifestyle. At MetaTherapy, this is 100% the case - many of our patients actually see both a chiropractor and a physiotherapist who assist them with their issues. Our practitioners often use similar modalities such as laser therapy, deep oscillation, acupuncture, manual therapy, deep tissue release, shockwave therapy, and many more!



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