When To Choose Physiotherapy or Chiropractic

Deciding between physiotherapy and chiropractic care depends on your specific condition, and the recommendations of healthcare professionals. Here’s a general guideline:

  1. Physiotherapy (Physical Therapy):
    • Ideal for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, sports injuries, and post-surgery rehabilitation.
    • One situation when you should choose physiotherapy over chiropractic is post-surgical rehab. Most physiotherapy clinics have the necessary equipment that most chiropractic clinics do not to properly rehabilitate you. Physiotherapist are generally better trained to handle post-surgical rehabilitation.
    • Focuses on improving mobility, function, and quality of life through exercises, manual therapy, and modalities like ultrasound, laser or electrical stimulation. Most physiotherapists do not adjust the spine or other joints of the body, so if you need this chiropractic is a must.
    • Physiotherapists often work on strengthening muscles, improving flexibility, and correcting movement patterns to prevent future injuries.
  2. Chiropractic Care:
    • Suitable for conditions related to the spine, joints, and nervous system, such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, and sciatica. In my practice I also help conditions involving the joints of the extremities, such as shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand injuries. I also help with hip, knee, ankle and foot problems.
    • Primarily involves manual adjustments or manipulations to restore alignment and mobility in the spine and other joints in order to restore optimal nervous system function and relieve pain.  In my office I also use electrical stimulation, Accu-o-matic, moist heat and ice when helpful.
    • Chiropractors also use exercise when useful to help you recover and prevent future injuries.
    • Chiropractors often focus on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system, since spinal dysfunctions (subluxations) can cause various health issues and pain.

Here are some considerations to help you choose:

  • Diagnosis: You can see a chiropractor right from the start as they are able to diagnose your condition. The chiropractor will then recommend the best course of action.
  • Condition Severity: For severe or acute conditions, such as fractures or severe sprains, you might initially require medical attention before starting physiotherapy or chiropractic care.  Other severe or acute conditions such as sever back pain or a disc herniation can be seen right away by either a physiotherapist or a chiropractor.
  • Cost and Insurance Coverage: Check your insurance coverage and consider the cost of treatment. Physiotherapy is about twice the cost of chiropractic care per visit. Usually there is better coverage for physiotherapy in most plans. You usually require a prescription from your medical doctor to be covered for physiotherapy. Most plans also cover chiropractic care up to $500.00 per year in 2024 (without a prescription). It is best to check your plan to know what you can afford. Only you can decide what your health is worth.
  • Collaborative Approach: In some cases, a combination of physiotherapy and chiropractic care, along with other treatments like massage therapy or acupuncture, may provide the best results. Discussing this possibility with healthcare providers can help create a comprehensive treatment plan.

Ultimately, the choice between physiotherapy and chiropractic care should be made based on your specific needs, and the advice of healthcare professionals.

Healthy Pregnancy Exercise Tips for Mom-to-Be

Pregnancy is a beautiful and trans-formative time in a woman’s life, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for both the mother and the developing baby. Regular exercise during pregnancy has numerous benefits, such as improved mood, reduced discomfort, and better overall health. However, it’s essential to approach exercise with caution and make modifications based on individual health and the stage of pregnancy. Here are some helpful pregnancy exercise tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

1. Consult with your healthcare provider: Before starting any exercise routine during pregnancy, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice based on your medical history and the specific needs of your pregnancy.

2. First trimester: During the first trimester normally no modifications are necessary. A woman’s body hasn’t changed that much yet.

3During the second trimester and beyond choose low-impact activities: Opt for low-impact exercises to minimize stress on your joints and reduce the risk of injury. Swimming, walking, stationary cycling, and prenatal yoga are excellent choices. These activities provide cardiovascular benefits without putting excessive strain on your body.

4. Listen to your body: Pay close attention to your body’s signals and modify or stop any activity that causes discomfort, pain, or shortness of breath. Be mindful of your energy levels, and don’t push yourself too hard. Pregnancy is not the time to set personal records or engage in intense workouts.

5. Warm-up and cool down: Start each exercise session with a gentle warm-up to prepare your body for activity. This could include five to ten minutes of light aerobic exercise. Similarly, finish your workout with a cool-down routine to help your heart rate and breathing return to normal gradually.

6. Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is essential during pregnancy, especially when exercising. Drink water before, during, and after your workout to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can lead to overheating, which can be harmful to both you and your baby.

7. Focus on core and pelvic floor exercises: Strengthening your core and pelvic floor muscles can help support your growing belly and reduce the risk of back pain. Gentle exercises such as Kegels and pelvic tilts can be incorporated into your routine. Dr. Robichaud can provide you with safe exercises.

8. Avoid lying on your back after the first trimester: After the first trimester, it’s advisable to avoid exercises that involve lying flat on your back for an extended period. This position can reduce blood flow to the uterus and may cause dizziness or discomfort. Opt for side-lying positions or exercises in an inclined position instead. Very short periods like when doing abdominal exercises are OK.

9. Wear good shoes: Invest in comfortable and supportive athletic shoes, as your feet may experience changes during pregnancy. Wear a supportive bra to minimize breast discomfort, and choose loose, breathable clothing to regulate body temperature. If advised you may need to wear a pelvic belt to help stabilize your pelvis and prevent pain.

10. Incorporate strength training: Include light to moderate strength training in your routine to maintain muscle tone and strength. Focus on exercises that target major muscle groups, using proper form.

11. Modify as needed: As your pregnancy progresses, your body will undergo various changes. Be prepared to modify your exercise routine accordingly. This might involve adjusting the intensity, duration, or type of exercise to accommodate your changing needs.

Staying active during pregnancy is beneficial for both physical and mental well-being. By following these exercise tips and maintaining open communication with your healthcare provider, you can enjoy a healthy and fit pregnancy journey. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so tailor your exercise routine to suit your individual circumstances. For more exercise tips speak to Dr. Robichaud at your next appointment.