Did you know that over 570 million people globally report back pain? Spinal problems plague every country, and over 85% of the causes are unknown.

When you have debilitating back or neck pain, it can make working, spending time with loved ones, and hobbies difficult. Are you interested in holistic or natural remedies? Rather than pay for costly procedures, other techniques can help you manage your pain.

If you have heard of physiotherapists and chiropractors, you may wonder what the differences between the two are? Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on what health professionals can best treat your spinal problems, so keep reading for more information!

Common Spinal Problems

Spinal problems include diagnoses that affect your spine and often lead to back pain. Spine problems can affect any of the five regions that the spine encompasses:

  • Cervical
  • Thoracic
  • Lumbar
  • Sacrum
  • Coccyx

Along with pain, spinal problems can also cause mobility issues and impaired sensation. Here are some common spine problems:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Scoliosis
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal cord injury

More severe back problems can cause paralysis. Spinal cord injuries and paralysis lead to problems controlling your bowel and bladder, amongst other symptoms.

Other Back Pain Causes

Most causes of back pain are non-specific, so there isn’t a definitive cause. Yet, general injuries to tissues, ligaments, or tendons can also cause pain.

This is known as mechanical back pain. Overuse injuries and poor posture can contribute, especially if you use a computer and find yourself with more neck pain afterwards.

Rarely will back pain indicate a more serious problem, but it does cause limitations. You may find yourself unable to get through a workday or participate in hobbies you enjoy.

What Is a Physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists are healthcare workers that specialise in musculoskeletal and other types of injuries. They may use exercise, modalities, or massage to help patients decrease pain and improve function.

While their main goal is to help patients with injuries or disabilities, they can also help reduce your risk of health impairments. What can a physiotherapist work with?

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Heart attack
  • COPD
  • And more

Some physiotherapists also use electrostimulation, acupuncture, or dry needling. You can find physiotherapists in hospitals and outpatient facilities.

What Is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is another type of healthcare professional that helps treat musculoskeletal disorders. They can also target the nervous system and use many hands-on techniques.

While exercise is still crucial in chiropractic visits, a chiropractor emphasises joint mobilisations and manipulations. Chiropractors can use modalities and different technology to help aid patients in their recovery. Here are some diagnoses that chiropractors can help with:

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Spinal subluxations
  • Chronic pain
  • Poor range of motion
  • Mental health disorders

As you can see, physiotherapists and chiropractors treat many conditions that cause back and neck pain, but is one better than the other?

Best Treatment for Spinal Problems

There are many interventions overall between physiotherapists and chiropractors, but chiropractors may have more specialities with tissue and joint manipulation techniques. It is not uncommon for chiropractors to use other specialised techniques, such as:

  • Applied kinesiology
  • Advanced Biostructural Correction
  • Posture and Performance Formula

One study looked at how chiropractic treatment compared to physiotherapy. Patients in this study had complaints of low back pain over six months and for at least three weeks.

In almost 15% of patients, low back pain continued beyond three months. This chronic pain can lead to:

  • Decreased productivity
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Increased financial and health burden

They found that chiropractic treatments cost less, and patients reported better quality of life outcomes than physiotherapy. Researchers also discovered that patients reported better outcomes than groups that only used standard medical care.

What Chiropractic Treatments Help Back Pain?

Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is a manual technique used by chiropractors that can help manage back pain. Experts recommend that exercise and SMT can help treat neck pain and be used as an initial treatment for low back pain.

Studies are starting to favour SMT in the acute and chronic phases. SMT is effective compared to other conservative and non-invasive techniques. Researchers recommend that patients utilise this approach before:

  • Oral analgesics
  • Surgery
  • Invasive measures

What does spinal manipulation entail? It can be a hands-on or mechanical approach that applies a force to a specific joint in the spine. Spinal manipulation involves more force than spinal mobilisation, which usually moves the joint within its available range of motion.

How To Choose a Chiropractor

Finding the right chiropractor can make a difference in your spinal problems and pain. Just as your physician makes a difference in your primary care, choosing your chiropractor is crucial for managing your back problems. Here are some other tips for choosing a chiropractor:

  • Use your primary care for referrals
  • Check credentials
  • Ask about experience
  • Ask questions
  • Check online reviews

Don’t be afraid to call the office and ask a few questions before getting started. You can inquire about what is involved in treatments and costs.

Fix Your Back Problems

You can fix your spinal problems and back pain through a qualified chiropractor. Have you tried exercise, over-the-counter medication, or more invasive techniques? Chiropractors can work with you at any stage of your discomfort and pain and help you find long-term solutions.

At SpineCentral, we specialise in treating various spinal problems. Our skilled chiropractors administer safe and effective treatment protocols and can help you navigate a healthier lifestyle. Are you ready to get started?

Book an appointment on our website today!