What’s the Difference Between a Chiropractor and an Orthopedic Doctor?

Feb 16, 2021

What’s the Difference Between a Chiropractor and an Orthopedic DoctorWhether you were injured in a car accident or are struggling with chronic headaches, your primary care doctor may recommend you see a chiropractor or orthopedic doctor for specialized, continued care. But how do you know whether a chiropractor or orthopedic doctor is the best choice for you? When you look at the differences between Marietta orthopedics and chiropractic, you may want to consider the type of condition you are seeking treatment for and what type of treatment approach you are more comfortable with. There are many similarities between chiropractors and orthopedic doctors, but it helps to understand their differences as well.

Education and Training

An orthopedic doctor is a medical doctor who has gone to medical school, while a chiropractor is a Doctor of Chiropractic. Both future orthopedic doctors and chiropractors must complete a bachelor’s degree before continuing on to additional post-graduate work. In order to become an orthopedic doctor, a person must first go to medical school and may also pursue a fellowship in order to focus on a sub-specialty like orthopedics.

On the other hand, in order to become a chiropractor, a person will need to complete a certified chiropractic program, which can take around four years to complete and requires clinical internship experience. Both chiropractors and orthopedic doctors gain experience in treating patients with a combination of schooling, observation, and hands-on internship or residency programs.

Philosophical Differences

The philosophical differences are what help distinguish chiropractors and orthopedic doctors. Chiropractors view all types of issues of the body as interconnected, and that all types of illnesses, car accident injuries, and other issues that bring you to the office can be traced back to misalignments that disrupt your body’s ability to function effectively. The idea is that when your spine is properly aligned then your brain is able to send messages out to the rest of your body without interruption and it can begin to heal itself on its own.

In contrast, Marietta orthopedic doctors generally come from a more traditional medical approach to identifying and treating illnesses and injuries by using the latest medical advancements and technologies for treatments. Unlike Marietta chiropractors, orthopedic doctors may use a combination of natural approaches, medications, pain management techniques, and even surgical interventions to help address your pain and to heal your injuries.

Treatment Approaches

Both Marietta orthopedics specialists and chiropractors focus on the goals of true healing and lasting relief from pain and discomfort, though their approaches to treatment can differ. An orthopedic doctor will use a combination of medication therapy, injections, and surgical options to address issues with the musculoskeletal system that are causing you pain. While both chiropractors and orthopedic doctors may begin with non-invasive treatment approaches, orthopedic doctors may try other more invasive options if necessary.

Chiropractors practice natural approaches and non-invasive treatment solutions for scoliosis and other forms of pain. The goal of chiropractic care is to help resolve your pain and discomfort by identifying the root cause and resolving the associated misalignments. Through gentle adjustments, stretches, and therapeutic massage, a chiropractor will use a hands-on, non-invasive treatment approach without any medications. Chiropractic care focuses on restoring proper posture and alignment in your body so your nervous system can start to heal itself.

Comprehensive Care at AICA

There are opportunities where you can see both an orthopedic doctor and a chiropractor for a more comprehensive approach to your care. AICA Orthopedics in Marietta offers a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment that is unique and tailor-made for you. Our doctors across a variety of specialties work together to provide you with the best care possible so you can experience less pain and discomfort. You may prefer to start off with a more natural, conservative approach to your care, to see if your chronic pain can be managed with chiropractic care. You may have also tried other medication therapies with little success and want to try something different. Whatever the case may be that brings you in, our team of doctors is here to help.

The truth of the matter is that both chiropractors and orthopedic doctors want to provide you with the least invasive options before resorting to surgical interventions because of how much more stress it can put on the body. A variety of therapeutic techniques from both chiropractors and orthopedic doctors can address your car accident injury or chronic headaches, and you may decide that one type of treatment approach or philosophy is better suited to your own personal preferences. Find out more about our Marietta orthopedics clinic with AICA Orthopedics and meet our team of doctors and healthcare providers to decide what type of provider works best for you.