Do I Need to See a Chiropractor or Orthopedist?
Body pain can be unbearable, and when we hurt, it’s difficult to know where to get the best help. Having information about chiropractors and orthopedists can help define where to start the healing process.
The Chiropractic practice is a regulated health care profession. Chiropractors have graduated from accredited chiropractic colleges and are honored with a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. After their college graduation, chiropractors must pass a difficult national board exam before applying for their state license. Chiropractors define their practice as a patient-centered approach, focusing on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Still, their goal is to evaluate the disorders’ effects on their patient’s general health. This goal helps people of any age live more active lives.
Chiropractors practice spinal and joint manipulation to restore mobility and tissue injuries. Tissue injuries result from lifting heavy objects improperly, poor spinal posture for an extended time, or trauma from automobile accidents. Injured tissues have physical and chemical changes that cause inflammation, pain, and limited function. By adjusting the affected joints and surrounding tissue, pain and muscle tightness are relieved, which allows the tissue to heal.
An orthopedist has completed medical school and has a certification and license as a medical doctor, including five to six years of orthopedic residency at a hospital.
Orthopedists treat broken bones, osteoporosis, arthritic joints, and other musculoskeletal system ailments. These doctors also treat conditions that affect bones, muscles, and cartilage.
A patient in significant pain, experiencing swelling, or has a skeletal deformity may seek the care of an orthopedist. Treatments often focus on surgery and therapies after surgery, and non-surgical treatments may include medications and exercises.
Beginning in the 1990s, evidence from clinical research has supported chiropractic treatment for various musculoskeletal conditions. The studies concentrated on low back pain, and the conclusions were clear that chiropractic manipulation was an effective low back pain care option in several national and international guidelines.
Cooperation between medical and chiropractic professions has increased over recent years. Nearly all chiropractors report that they have referred patients to other health care providers and have also received referrals from medical physicians.
The cooperation between the two fields has also benefited the patients by the medical profession paying more attention to nutritional and dietary counseling as the chiropractic profession does. Chiropractors and orthopedists have both broadened their treatment options like heat, ice, ultrasound, taping, and bracing.
Chiropractors and orthopedists are both recognized professionals in their field. Deciding which specialist to go to depends on the patient’s comfort zone. If broken bones or torn muscles need repair, an orthopedist is probably the best choice.
If the patient feels they could benefit from a more natural treatment, a visit to the chiropractor may be a great place to begin the healing process. If you are in the Everett or Snohomish County area of Washington, we’re here to help! We service Lynnwood, Bothell, Marysville, Mill Creek, Everett, Lake Stevens and more.