Chiropractor vs Sports Therapist – Which Is Right For Me? 

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Why do some people get referred to chiropractors and others to sports therapists? Don’t they both do the same thing? In this blog, we will help to explain the key differences and who you would be better suited to seeing and why.

The main differences between the two come down to this; Traditionally, chiropractors are spinal-focused, and Sports Therapists are focused on injuries that occur during sports or exercise-based activities. These will have a degree of cross-over when it comes to who you should see.

Chiropractors favour manipulation techniques, whereas Sports Therapists will offer more Sports Massage/Shockwave/Exercise rehabilitation. 

A little about chiropractors

Chiropractors will typically be spinal-focused. This has changed more recently with there being a more global approach to things being undertaken. But spinal injuries are their bread and butter. Any back/neck pain and you aren’t far off seeing a chiropractor. 

Their main aim is to assess and diagnose, then help you get back into shape. People come to see a chiropractor for a multitude of reasons that can sometimes turn out to cause the issue the patient is currently suffering with. 

Chronicity is another aspect of this. Typically, chiropractic care will be more focused towards chronic issues relating to the spine. This doesn’t mean that it’s all they see and acute or short-term back pain is also a common sight in clinics.

Now, what about sports therapists?

Sports therapists, on the other hand, are trained to assess and manage sports and exercise-based injuries. This can be on a global scale and be anywhere from an ankle injury, right up to a shoulder overuse issue.  

Sports therapists will typically see more acute injuries. This is due to the reactive nature of the patient base. If you hurt yourself in the gym, you want it fixed so you can get back to the gym as quickly as possible. 

Similarly to chiropractic, chronic injuries are quite common for sports therapists to see. These may be a buildup of acute injuries that the patient hasn’t managed very well and has developed into a chronic problem that needs some more proactive management.

This will help:

1) To fix the current issue
2) To make sure that it doesn’t come back in the future.  

The crossover

As discussed earlier, there is a level of cross-over between the two. For example, a person suffering from a lower back injury that was caused by sport may go to a sports therapist but could also go to a chiropractor.

It wouldn’t be uncommon for one to assess and refer if best suited to the other practitioner.  

This is why often at Core Clinics, a patient will come in for an initial assessment to see a chiropractor but also get sent over to one of the sports therapists to do some further treatment. They will then be sent back to the chiropractor once their pain levels have eased and they can tolerate the manipulation. 

All in all, who you see is very dependent on your injury, pain, timeline and so on. The key when booking an appointment is to have a very clear idea of the above. This will enable the patient care staff to point you in the right direction and make your life a lot easier. 

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