Back pain – Should I see a chiro or a physio?

Back pain - Should I see a chiropractor or a physiotherapist?
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Back pain – Should I see a chiro or a physio?

Anyone who has suffered from lower back pain quickly realizes that their back affects pretty much most daily activities. It’s completely understandable to worry that something serious could be going on, especially if this is your first time. However, we’re here to help you get through this because if you know what’s normal and the options you have to address the problem, then you’re well on your way to getting better.


The first thing is first – welcome, you are now in the 80% of the population around the world who has experienced back pain. Take a deep breath and breathe it all the way out. It might be quite sore, but trust us, holding your breath to avoid the pain is not helpful. It’s better that you breathe.


Secondly, know that most cases of lower back pain are nothing to be concerned about. It is likely that the first 24-48 hours are not going to be fun. Even if the intensity of the pain is really high, this isn’t necessarily an indication of a serious injury (which is good news!)


Your GP and registered health care professionals (like physiotherapists and chiropractors) are all trained to figure out if your back pain is a result of serious pathology. Rest assured we’re on the lookout for these things and we’ll ask you a series of questions to rule out anything we might be more concerned about.


Finally, depending on your history, it’s not uncommon for back pain to last between 1-2 weeks in one episode. This is just how the body works. And sometimes you’ll feel pain and it’ll be gone the next day. This is also just how the body works.

Back pain - Should I see a chiropractor or a physiotherapist?

Now for the real question: Is it better to see a chiropractor or a physiotherapist?

And the quick answer is… it doesn’t really matter. But we’ll explain why.


Both physiotherapists and chiropractors are trained to work with lower back rehabilitation. If you already have a clinician who you’re happy with and trust, and that clinician is confident in treating lower back pain, then feel free to continue with that person.


The difference between physiotherapy and chiropractic is actually in the perspective of treating the body. It’s like looking at the same thing through two different lenses. A chiropractor and physiotherapist are trained with different “tools” to help people, but at the end of the day, our goal is to reduce pain and improve movement.


Regardless of whether you think it could be a joint dysfunction or a muscle spasm, or maybe you have no idea what is going on, both professions are capable of assessing and treating the matter. Stereotypically, we often think of chiropractors working with joints and physiotherapists working with muscles and exercise, however, these days there is a lot of cross-over between the professions. We’re all just stealing techniques used by the other because whatever works, works.


What actually really matters is that you develop a good working relationship with the therapist. If what they’re saying makes sense to you, and they’re clearly working hard to get you back to your most valued activities, then Chiro? Physio? Doesn’t matter!

CCHP Provides You with the Best of Both Worlds

Thankfully at Central City Health Professionals, we have both chiropractors and physiotherapists working under the same roof. Often if we think another clinician will be better suited to your specific injury, we’ll refer you on to someone with the skills to help you best with your recovery. Call us at 9421 1733 and our receptionists will ask you a few simple questions to place you with the right clinician for your concern.

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