When PT and Chiropractic Combine

September 8, 2015

 

 

Some people seek out chiropractic care because of an injury they sustained for which they are having difficulty correcting.  This is especially true with our Structural Chiropractic approach because we focus on creating lasting correction to spinal instabilities (subluxations).  Without correction of these instabilities, some degree of nerve obstruction remains after symptoms go away, causing further limitation or injury and preventing the whole body from functioning normally.
   
Many people have often utilized physical therapy (PT) services as well, seeking out solutions to problems that have muscular components.  The goal of most physical therapy services is distinct from our Structural Chiropractic goals; their goal is to improve muscular imbalances that often result after an injury occurs.  In many cases, the long-term stability of a joint requires this awareness of muscular imbalance and restoration of normal muscle function.
     
There is also a danger to pursuing PT care, and that is when people think that PT replaces the work of Structural Chiropractic.  This danger applies to people who use yoga, stretching, self-manipulation or even generic exercises to replace their Structural Care.  The danger is that the structural instability is at the heart of WHY someone developed the symptoms in the first place, and without correction remains a risk and limitation.
     
Consider someone who patches cracks in the walls of their home, but lets the foundation of the house bend, slip and shift.  Or someone who has the check engine light come on in their car, but covers up the indicator with some black electrical tape so it no longer disturbs them.  Or someone who has recurring upset stomach, but just pops antacids to silence the discomfort. Would these patches be effective treatments for the cause of their problems?
     
Unfortunately, the majority of opinion in our current medical thought is that if the symptoms resolve then your problem is "fixed".  More and more people are waking up to realize this is an incomplete answer, but when it comes to PT, many people still follow this incomplete advice.  Numerous times I've heard people say their physical therapist is recommending they stop chiropractic care.  Statements like "We won't know which approach is working" or "They might work against each other" or "We can do what they do also" really show the depth at which their limited thinking blocks their understanding of how to let your body heal completely.
     
Many people under Structural Chiropractic care utilize multiple treatments for the complete correction of their structural instabilities.  Yoga provides a great compliment for people who seek to optimize their continued flexibility and balance.  Nutrition helps people heal chronic instabilities and create a strong, resistant internal system.  Regular detoxification can reduce the long-term potential damage of a chemically toxic environment. Proper supportive exercises, either supportive structural exercises (like those performed in our office) or specific muscle- and joint-based exercises like those at PT, allow people to control the muscular imbalances formed as a result of injury.
     
Using these therapies in combination provides the greatest chance of recovery and long-term correction.  Eliminating or replacing one for another, especially at the expense of your Structural Chiropractic care, leaves you vulnerable for continued mal-function and future injury. 
 
What makes better sense for you now, and for you into the future?

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