I am always amazed when I have a patient that comes back to me after a physical therapy consultation and they tell me, “the physical therapist told me to stop going to the chiropractor.” Various reasons usually follow, it’s a conflict of interest, we won’t know which one is helping you, you can’t do both at the same time, chiropractic won’t help this condition… You get the idea. I’m going to solve this age long debate, or maybe we could call it bickering, for you now.
Chiropractic care and physical therapy are perfect compliments to each other and should be used together.
I think a lot of the conflict and issues come up when you have two professions are that are closely related and have dogmatic opinions towards what treatment is best for the patient. Physical therapy will help you build the strength back up around an injured area of your body. Whether it is after a surgery or mechanical injury. Chiropractic care focuses on correcting the structure of your body and removing compression on nerves and joints to make your body work correctly.
I like to use a house analogy for this issue. If you have a foundation that is leaning and the siding is faded and falling off you would want to straighten the foundation and fix the siding and paint it back up. Chiropractic work does the foundation straightening and physical therapy does the paint and siding work (aka builds the muscles back up to hold the foundation correctly). I provide exercises that patients can do at home too, but sometimes it is nice for less experienced patients to have the help with the exercises and the motivation to do them.
It is important in the health industry that doctors and therapist work together for the common good of the patient. After all you, the patient, is why we do what we do. To help you and make you feel better and be stronger and healthier.