If your usual treatment methods aren’t giving you relief from your muscle and joint pain, headaches, or other chronic pain conditions it may be time to consider something different. But how do you choose which treatment method is right for you?
What is chiropractic care? Chiropractic care is a non-invasive manual therapy that takes a whole-person approach to the treatment of various spine, muscle, joint and nervous system complaints.
Chiropractors are able to assess, diagnose and treat conditions pertaining to the spine, muscles, joints and nervous system and/or order certain types of imagining and provide referrals when further diagnostics are required. Chiropractic care is often offered in a collaborative environment such as integrative health clinics, and works well alongside other treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy, physiotherapy or pharmacological therapy.
Chiropractors are trained in several types of treatments (and many will pursue further qualifications) that allow them to fully customize your treatment plan to your particular needs and lifestyle. These treatments may include:
- Manual therapy and manipulations
- Therapeutic stretches and exercises
- Soft-tissue and trigger point therapy
- Cold laser, ultrasound or TENS
- Acupuncture or dry needling
- Prescribing home-care
What type of treatment you require or respond best to depends on your particular concerns, lifestyle and level of comfort. Your chiropractor should work with you to find a treatment plan that works for you.
What Does It Treat?
Chiropractic care is a great conservative treatment option for complaints such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Sprains and strains
- Arthritis pain
- Whiplash and other injuries due to motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
Adapted from traditional Chinese medicine practices, acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny, thin needles at very specific points on the body to stimulate the nerves, muscles and connective tissues related to the particular condition or symptoms being treated. It’s a low-risk treatment that works well alongside a variety of other modalities such as physiotherapy, chiropractic care and massage therapy.
What Does It Treat?
Acupuncture has been used to treat all kinds of health concerns and symptoms, such as:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Mental Health Concerns – Anxiety, Depression, Stress, etc.
- PMS, menstrual pain, etc.
- Musculoskeletal Conditions – Arthritis, back pain, muscle spasms, sciatica, neck pain, etc.
- Headaches and migraines
- Smoking cessation
- Muscle tension
Who Can Administer Acupuncture?
Acupuncture should be performed by a certified professional, this includes:
- Registered Acupuncturists
- Naturopathic Doctors
- Massage Therapist
- Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners
Practitioners such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, etc have undergone additional training in order to provide acupuncture alongside their main scope of practice.
Can I Get Acupuncture AND Chiropractic Treatments?
Yes! Acupuncture and chiropractic care are both treatment options that work well alongside other modalities. As with any treatment, always consult a doctor or professional before adding additional medications or treatments to your plan to ensure that they are safe for you.
Luckily, many chiropractic or integrative health clinics will offer both chiropractic care and acupuncture on site. Just find a chiropractor near you and check their website to see if they offer acupuncture, and then getting started is as easy as booking your initial assessment!
Which One is Right For You?
While both chiropractic care and acupuncture can be used in conjunction with each other, sometimes one treatment option may be more suited to your needs than the other. But how do you tell? Sometimes it’s just a case of trial and error.
If you’re seeking care for something like back pain, neck pain, headaches or sciatica, both chiropractic care and acupuncture can be effective. In this case, it may come down to trying them both and seeing which works best. That’s where seeing a chiropractor that also offers acupuncture can come in handy – chances are you’ll begin your treatment plan with a manual therapy approach and if that doesn’t work or if you’re not fully seeing the results you desire, acupuncture may be added.
For specific symptoms such as nausea, gastrointestinal issues, stress and mental health concerns, trying acupuncture may be a more targeted approach. While chiropractic care can help relieve tension or headaches associated with stress and anxiety, acupuncture has been shown to help targeted symptoms such as nausea, GI concerns a variety of symptoms associated with stress and mental health complaints.
Overall, choosing the right treatment method depends on your personal health concerns, goals, and lifestyle. Both chiropractic care and acupuncture are safe and effective treatment options that can be used on their own or in addition to other modalities to help you manage your pain and symptoms.