604-917-0777 info@fulcrumtherapy.ca


There is a question many people search for an answer based on what, they can decide who can help them get rid of their pains; here is the question:

“What is the difference between a physiotherapist and a chiropractor and which one should I see?”

In a multidisciplinary setting, chiropractors and physiotherapists work together to address a particular musculoskeletal condition. In this approach, the patient receives expertise and treatment style from both practitioners and the collaboration and combination of experiences from both practitioners often results in superior outcomes and the fastest time for injury recovery.

At our Health Clinic, all our physiotherapists and chiropractors are evidence based and we take pride in our communication and collaborative decision making to ensure we are treating our mutual patient with the utmost care and attention that they deserve. We truly believe our collaborative approach has the best outcome for our patient’s complaints and gets them closest to their goals the fastest.

What Is Chiropractic Adjustment?

You may have heard of mobilizations and adjustments but not sure what the difference is?

Degree of joint movement has 5 grades of intensity. Grade 1-4 fall under the mobilization category. This means we stretch joints and move them around but we don’t take the joint into its very end range of motion to create more joint space.

Chiropractic adjustments can help get rid of chronic pains in different parts of your body.

A grade 5 mobilization, also known as a chiropractic adjustment is when a joint is taken to its end range and slightly passed it which results in an audible pop also known as a cavitation. A cavitation is when bubbles in the joint burst, resulting in increased joint space, lubrication and stimulation pain inhibiting receptors of the body. Chiropractic adjustments result in instant relief of pain and improved mobility. When followed with appropriate home care, improved mobility and alignment can be achieved.

What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractors are full body musculoskeletal doctors. They have over 8 years training and are licensed with their regulatory board. Chiropractors are well versed to diagnose and treat various musculoskeletal related conditions such as acute and chronic neck pain, back pain, headaches, vertigo, hip pain, sciatica and more. Chiropractors also can diagnose and treat conditions of the extremities such as elbow, knees, ankles and wrists

Chiropractic treatment initiates with a full health history, full assessment and an appropriate treatment for the specific injury. Treatment consists of a combination of soft tissue therapy, chiropractic care, stretch and exercise prescription and home care advice as warranted.

Both chiropractic and physiotherapy are manual therapy techniques for chronic pain relief.

What Is Physiotherapy?

A physiotherapist undergo 4 years of bachelor degree combined with a 2 years masters degree. After graduation, they are required to write the physiotherapy board exams to become licensed providers in the designated province.

At Fulcrum Therapy, our Coquitlam physiotherapists also go through extensive training as manual therapists and treatments consist of a full initial health intake, assessment followed by treatment. Treatment consists of a combination of manual therapy, exercise and rehab prescription and home care advice.

What Does a Physiotherapist Do?

Physiotherapists can assess injuries and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Physiotherapists work with motor vehicle accident patients suffering from sprain/strain injuries and whiplash. Common work related injuries also arrange visit to a physiotherapist for proper assessment and communication with worksafe to ensure a safe return back to work is provided.

Is Chiropractor a Doctor? How About a Physiotherapist?

Chiropractors are doctors of the musculoskeletal system. They have extensive and in depth training of anatomy, physiology, orthopedics as well as nutrition and rehabilitation. Chiropractors are extremely knowledgeable in treatment of spinal related conditions and disorders and have training to appropriately diagnose and treat or refer out when appropriate.

Furthermore, neural related conditions such as sciatica, arm or leg weakness and tingling are among what chiropractors treat frequently as well.

On the other hand, physiotherapy is a 2 year masters degree and all physiotherapists have a masters degree from an accredited university in physical therapy. Physiotherapists traditionally incorporate rehab and exercise into their treatments as we believe the right amount of movement, when combined with strength, is what allows people to heal from their injuries the fastest.

Should You Choose a Chiropractor or a Physiotherapist?

As you can see, there is significant overlap between what chiropractors and physiotherapists can do. That is why at our clinic, our practitioners work closely together and coordinate treatments to ensure the patient is receiving the highest quality of care between practitioners.

If you are in pain and unsure of who to see:

Trust in our process. Book an appointment with either our physiotherapists or chiropractors and have your condition assessed. Our expert physiotherapists and chiropractors are trained in detecting causes of your pain and can recommend you to see the other practitioner if they believe you may benefit from a joint multidisciplinary approach.

If you are in pain, call 604-917-0777 and let us help you through this journey to getting you feeling 100%.

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