The controversy between the health sciences… PT or DC?

Today I did more shadowing with Dr. Gunter and then spent the rest of my day with the Physical Therapy clinic run by Jesse and Garret.

Their specific clinic focuses on functional movement based rehab. Unlike most physical therapists who may put their clients on machines, or stretch out the injured area, Jesse is a hands on based physical therapist that uses various manual practices to rehab his clients. His philosophy is to deal with every problem at the same appointment, instead of dealing with one problem per appointment. This is because all parts of our body are connected, and therefore in everyday actions, (walking, running, bending over, etc)  our bodies react and move through compound movements. This means there is always more than one body part associated with each movement. Your hip being out of place can be the reason your ankle hurts.. therefore the place where it hurts may not be the place where you should treat. Jesse has a very unique and holistic approach to his treatment, which has been proven extremely effective for his successful clinic.

I had the awesome opportunity to sit in on one of Jesse’s appointments this afternoon. First Garret, Jesse’s colleague, stretched his client out the first 10 minutes, and then Jesse came in to do the manual work. Since this client in particular had multiple muscle strains and soreness all over, the appointment lasted well over 2 and a half hours with Garret first evaluating the area and then Jesse coming in to do the actual rehab. He used a very similar technique to Dr. Gunter, where he asked what was hurting and then evaluated his movement by having him walk down to the end of the room and back. From this test, Jesse instantly knew what was wrong as he could tell from this guy’s walk not only why it hurt but how to fix it. For this specific client he used some type of resistance rehab where he started at the clients feet, pressing in certain areas and then queued his client to flex his foot against his hand both forward and backward as hard as he could for a couple seconds and then relax. This technique is supposed to enhance the range of motion through the foot by tension and relaxation. He did this for both feet, and then re-evaluated until he saw a change.

When comparing PT to Chiropractic, the biggest differences in my opinion fall in the business aspect. While PT’s can work in hospitals and outpatient centers, their clients have to be referred by a medical doctor unless they’re able to pay by cash. Nevertheless since Chiropractors aren’t certified as medical practitioners under the American Medical Association (AMA), they will always be fighting an upward battle trying to legitimize their own profession. Chiropractors also have to become more business savvy as more than half of all Chiropractors own their own practice since by law, MD’s and DC’s (Chiropractic Doctors) can’t work together in the same practice.

As far as job growth, the PT job market will continue to grow at an extremely high rate over the next decade compared to chiropractic who’s job will relatively stay the same. For me, I personally like chiropractors better mainly because of the freedom and independence that comes with the job. I can do so much as work in a medical building to owning my own gym/practice like Dr. Lum does. While PT’s may get paid more off the bat and have a better chance of landing a job, I see a lot more growth in the long run with Chiropractic medicine.Nevertheless…. I have a lot to think about concerning my near future…

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