In short, physical therapy uses technology to offer and help with chiropractic services. Specifically, physical therapy is best for treating lower back pain. During a physical therapy visit, electronic information, imaging, and communication systems help patients receive education, consultations, diagnosis, treatment, and transferable health data.
Traditional Chiropractor vs Physical Therapy
On one hand, patients must go in-person to traditional chiropractor visits. In fact, patients endure long wait times only to see the doctor for a few minutes. Then the chiropractor adjusts their back, gives them methods to relieve the pain at home, and the patient comes back the following week. In some cases, they may require more frequent visits. On the other hand, physical therapy only requires the patients to sign up online. Then, patients will answer a few questions before a chiropractor creates a custom plan for them to treat lower back pain. Finally, patients receive tutorials and reminders to monitor their progress. As a result, wait times, travelling, and in-person interactions are reduced.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
In general, physical therapy is a more accessible way for patients to receive chiropractic services. For example, there are patients that live in rural areas or have medical conditions that make traveling difficult. However, with physical therapy, they can still get chiropractic care without going in person. Plus, less people will be going to in-person chiropractic visits. So, people who really need face-to-face visits with their chiropractor have more access to them as well.
Both patients and employers benefit from physical therapy. In fact, remote chiropractic care comes less time away from the office. Most of the time at chiropractic visits is spent waiting. But physical therapy skips straight to speaking with the doctor.
In most cases, the cost of physical therapy is far less than a traditional chiropractic visit. In fact, this fact is due to less travel time, in-person visits, and staff.
The convenience of physical therapy encourages patients to prioritize their health. Research shows that this type of telemedicine offers the same level of quality care that traditional chiropractic visits do.
Studies show that patients value modern methods of communication as opposed to traditional ones. Oftentimes, patients prefer virtual communication over face-to-face communication. Plus, they care more about access to services than in-person interactions.
Cons of Physical Therapy
Although a misdiagnosis is unlikely, there is still a chance of one during physical therapy care. Since physical therapy is best for treating lower back pain, a patient with a more severe chiropractic issue may find that they are misdiagnosed. Or a chiropractor may not be able to diagnose a patient. As a result, they will have to go to an in-person visit anyways.
Trends in Physical Therapy
The trends for physical therapy continue to change. However, it’s clear that its demand is growing.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes state that lower back pain is the top cause of job-related disability.
- 80% of adults have a job-related disability in their lives.
- 96% of adults with a job-related disability have it due to mechanical lower back pain.
- Physical Therapy reduces in-person visits by up to 21%.
- Plus, research shows that physical therapy is 28% more effective than face-to-face chiropractic visits.
- In most cases, physical therapy visits only take half as long as in-person visits.
Ultimately, physical therapy offers patients amazing benefits, such as more accessibility, less wait times, lower costs, high-quality care, and better communication. As a result, more people are giving it a try. And they are reaping its advantages. For example, trends show that physical therapy is more effective than traditional chiropractic care. So, physical therapy should remain an addition to in-person chiropractic visits, not a replacement.