Difference between Chiropractic and physiotherapy

Yoga pose

When you are suffering any sort of muscular or skeletal pain, it is difficult to know what kind of treatment you need. Often your first instinct would be go to see your general practitioner for pain killers. And more often you’ll question what the difference is between chiropractic and physiotherapy and which one will be best suited for you.

So what is the difference between chiro and physio?

There is a lot of overlap between the two professions. Chiro and physiotherapy both treat joints and muscloskeletal problems to increase movement and strength, relax and stretch muscles, decrease pain and help you return to full function.

But the main difference between the two professions is that chiropractor traditionally use manipulation to restore mobility and influence the nervous system where a physiotherapy will more commonly utilise mobilisation.

What conditions does Dynamic Chiropractic Care manage?

Our Chiropractor use manual techniques to adjust the joints of your spine and limbs where indicated. Gentle and specific manipulation techniques are utilised to help restore joint mobility. Additionally, soft tissue techniques and rehabilitation are utilised to release muscular tension and strengthen weak muscles.

Conditions our Greenacre Clinic sees on a regular basis are low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica and disc problems, headaches and migraines, jaw pain, scoliosis, sports injuries, hip, knee and ankle pain, wrist and elbow pain, and postural issues.

So who do you choose?

If your back or joints feel stiff and sore or haven’t responded well to other treatments, then a consultation with a chiropractor is recommended.

A short consultation over the phone or in person will determine whether chiro or physio care best suits you. Both professions can examine you professionally and treat/refer appropriately according to your symptoms.

If you are in pain or have postural concerns, Contact us on 9642 7906 we will be more than happy to help.

“Take action before it becomes a problem”


Pain is NOT ONLY contributed by physical factors

Pain associated with movement and touching specific areas of the body are commonly referred to as mechanical in nature. However, paints never entirely mechanical. Pain is always mechanical, biochemical and psychological.

Inflammation occurs after tissue injury, and inflammation is part of the healing process; however chronic inflammation represents lack of tissue healing and promotes further problems.

Pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators are released by local cells in response of tissue injury. Excess pro-inflammatory mediators prolongs inflammation thus leading to chronic inflammation and chronic disease and pain. Dietary imbalances can lead to excess pro-inflammatory state causing chronic inflammation. Hence, diet could be an important factor in your persistent pain and inflammation.

Food that may be contributing to inflammation and delaying body healing are sugar, wheat, starchy food, dairy and soft drinks. In contrast, anti-inflammatory foods are vegetables, fruits, fish, o-mega 3, and nuts.


Dynamic Chiropractic Care motto is ‘Eat well and keep moving’.


Mental stress cause physical symptoms

Stress is the reality of modern day living and with little bit of it we enhance performance in different areas of life. However, too much of stress can lead to chronic stress and it’ll probably lead to a cycle of stress fits. Common areas we experience stress are in relationship and work.

So now you’ve been stressed out for a while now due to relationship break down, meeting deadlines at work, moving to another city or work, and passing of a family member. You may noticed that your stress level also gave rise to physical symptoms such as neck pain or shoulder tension or even increase in your existing lower back pain.


This diagram shows a good example on how stress can become physically visible via symptoms. When stressed our breathing pattern becomes shallower which eventually recruits our accessory breathing muscles such as scalenes, upper trapezius and levator scapulae. These muscles tire out causing fatigue and tension to build across the shoulders and neck.

Tips: Take deeper breaths. Calm down and accept that somethings can’t be changed.


Chiropractic and Ankle Sprain?

Ankle sprain

Ankle sprain is the most commonly injured body are among athletes. With Sprains dominating most diagnoses. For initial ankle sprain, individuals often report persisting limitations to the ankle joint, including pain and swelling, and recurrent sprain. Chronic ankle instability may follow after ankle sprains causing persisting limitations.

The current literature recommend exercises incorporating balance, and promote proprioception in order to limit the risk of sustaining ankle sprain. Promoting these attributes whilst incorporating sport specific movements may be helpful. Ankle sprain can have detrimental consequences to athletes. Ankle joint mobilisation and manipulation have shown to limit these outcomes.

For acute sprains, manual joint mobilisation diminished pain and increases dorsiflexion range of motion. For treatment of subacute/chronic lateral ankle sprains, these techniques improves ankle range of motion, decreased pain and improved function (Loudon et al. 2014).

Ankle mobilisation and manipulation on top of rehabilitative exercises is an effective management approach for ankle sprain and chronic ankle instability.

Ask David about how chiropractic care could improve your ankle sprain and stability.


Digital detox

Technology has advanced so much, having our phones, laptop, tablets etc has made life easier. It has made hyperconnected and hyperdistracted.

We have ‘connected’ with people online but have ‘disconnected’ with people in real life. This is causing a lot of issues in family and work leading to addiction. Our lives has become more depended on the validation/affirmation of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ we have on social media.

Using digital media may cause short and long term health problems:

  • changes in emotion
  • decrease memory
  • shorten attention span

These things all together can affect how we communicate with people. Not only that we have started noticing an increase physical issues;

  • neck pain
  • back pain
  • changes in eye sight

Sedentary life (saturation of technology) can lead to other health problems such as heart problems etc. Minimising screen time, spending more time outside in the sun with friends can help you et your life back onto the healthy path. Start reconnecting with reality.


Passive vs active care

Both forms of care are beneficial in improving pain and function. What do you want out of your care? Pain relief only? Better function? Improvement in sports performance? Being able to sit down for longer at work without discomfort? Goals are an important aspect of care.

Passive care represents something done to the patient and consists of therapeutic interventions that are applied to the patient such as adjustments, soft tissue techniques, other forms of manual therapy and early stage of rehab. Generally passive care involve little or no involvement of the patient.

Active care includes modalities that requires an individual conscious effort. Active care has the goal of placing the patient in a position of greater responsibility for their recovery (rehab).

Mixture of passive and active care is effective in managing pain and function. Both care takes commitment and patience. Somethings don’t come easy.


Am I working my core muscles?

Exercising for better health

If you were to visit the gym, what body part would you work out? Arms? Shoulders? Legs? How about the core? In actuality many people don’t have a great understanding of which muscles make up the ‘core’. So people will do exercises that seems to be working the ‘core’ but are not. Too may people, think that the core and abs are synonymous. But in reality the abs are just one side of the core.

The core is like a box which includes abs on the front, the lower back muscles and gluteus on the back, the diaphragm on the top, and the pelvic floor and hip muscles on the bottom. These core muscles are important because they stabilise the centre of the body so that limb muscles can pull against a stable structure. when you kick a soccer ball, swing a tennis racket, or pick up a crying baby, your core should fire up before your limbs get to work.

Neglecting the core could increase your risk of injury especially when performing a powerful motion with the body. So if you being to lift before the core is strong, then you’ll  lack the strength to perform the lifts correctly and learn bad habits while compensating for the lack of strength in their core.

A question was asked “Is sit-up good for the core?” Classic sit-up and crunches is a really bad idea as it puts lots of pressure on the spine. There are other ways to strengthen the core without causing too much spinal flexion. Repetitive and too much spinal flexion can increase stress on the spinal ligaments leading to possible back pain.

Take care and love your spine (you only get one spine).


Movement is key

In the past, transport and technology was limited compared to today. Our ancestors were walking kilometres and sitting down briefly to rest. Compare to office workers, who steps into their car to sitting down briefly to rest. Compare to office workers, who steps into their car to sitting down at work for most of the day. There’s no surprise that there are consequences with sitting all day.

Sitting has been linked with cardiovascular conditions, back pain, and decrease in productivity. In contrary, movement increased productivity for individuals. Instead of sitting down during your lunch break, maybe recruit few of your work mates and go for a walk around the block.

Movement is key. Start a movement. Influence others to live a healthier life.


Is joint cracking bad?

Everyone’s probably cracked their knuckles, neck or back. But what is the crack noise?

The sound is a result of a force of movement being applied to your joint. Majority of the joints in our body has synovial capsules which contains synovial fluid which lubricates our joints. When force is applied to the joint, the pressure of the synovial fluid changes. This occurs quickly, leading to formation and release of gas bubble. The gaseous release of pressure from the joints creates the audible ‘crack’.

Is joint cracking bad? Yes and No. Cracking your neck can be bad if you don’t do it correctly and if you do it too often or forcefully. Cracking your own neck too hard can strain your muscles and joints. Feeling like you need to crack your neck a lot may be a result of hyper mobility. Hence, constantly trying to crack something that’s already hyper mobile may sprain your ligaments.

If you constantly give in to the urge of cracking your neck but never feel satisfied, then you may need to see an expert for that. As the hyper mobile joints would want to move first no the hypo mobile joint. This can lead to pain, stiffness and even pinched nerves. Getting an expert to correct the hypomobile will benefit you.


What is Chiropractic?

The word “Chiropractic ” combines the Greek words Cheir (hand) and Praxis (action) and means “Done by Hand”. It focuses on how your body functions and how it relates to the nervous system.

A Chiropractor diagnoses and treats neuro-musculo-skeletal (nerve, muscle, joint) disorders through manual adjustment and /or manipulation of the spine. Chiropractors have various treatment approaches including gentle technique and other manual therapies to achieve results. A chiropractor’s aim is to restore normal joint mobility, as well as muscle balance and function.

Most Chiropractors seek to reduce pain and improve functionality of patients. Another important aspect of chiropractic care is education on how to exercise, ergonomics, nutrition, and other therapies.

Some conditions that we manage are:

  • low back pain
  • neck & shoulder pain
  • sciatica & disc problems
  • headaches & migraines
  • jaw pain
  • scoliosis
  • sports injuries
  • hip, knee & ankles pain
  • wrist & elbow pain
  • postural correction

Ask us how we can help you.