8138 Tweaks: Part 2 Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy
7 Rounds for Time
Run 1/2 Lap
10 Dumbell Shoulder to Overhead- R
10 Dumbell Shoulder to Overhead- L
This blog is based on my own understanding and experiences, but might be off base or lacking in descriptions. Of the things I'm describing below, these professionals might offer way more than I include or even much less- these are pretty general descriptions. And actually, if I’m inaccurate, it could be a sign that there could be some better education out there about what these people do!
While quite different, the common thread between the PT, Chiro and MT are that they are manipulating tissues with the hope of improving your quality of life, whether that is recovering, healing, preventing injury, managing pain or all of the above. They've put in their time studying the body and their time is pretty expensive, but valuable too. Your insurance is willing to pay them basically because they're legit!
The Physical therapist commonly sees patients who have recently injured themselves or have had a recent surgery or procedure. Traditionally, that recovery time or healing process just leaves people without the full function of something they should have. They help people regain strength, stability, flexibility- really just functionality, and they'll do it a lot of different ways. Exercises, stretches, manual tissue manipulations. The idea is to restore whatever function a body part once had before it's injury. I'm sure that PT's would love to be doing more preventative sports med, but American insurance companies don't spring for really logical things like that...smh. Thinking back, I really wish someone had explained to me the purpose of physical therapy in my youth. I'd have surgery and then have to make like 5 or 6 PT visits and usually like at some ungodly early hour for a high school kid. It was usually painful and I never did the homework exercises. Had I known what it was all about, I would have loved it. If you go to the PT now, say, "Hey, I'm in really good shape, I can handle whatever you can throw at me." And they'll love you for it.
Chiropractors are also manipulating tissues. You might just think of chiropractors as back crackers. Sure they’ll adjust your spine, hips, neck etc., but they can do a wide range of other adjustments to restore functioning or manage pain. I’ve had some of the same or similar procedures done y both the PT and Chiro. Some PT’s can do adjustments, but most of that spine and joint work is done by the chiro. There is a lot of other differences, but the Chiro is going to do the most manual tissue manipulations (yes bone is a type of tissue) rather than specific strengthening exercises like the PT. If you’re not sure wether to visit the Chiro or PT, it’s easy enough to call and ask them.
The other professional you’d seek for recovery is the Massage Therapist. The two that we recommend love working on athletes and do an awesome job of either working to relax certain tissues so your body can heal faster or manage pain or helping you just relax mentally. Yes movement is important for recovery but rest and sleep are equally important. When it comes to soft tissue work, we can do some good on our own with foam rollers, our spouses, or other self massage tools, but we really just can’t always deliver enough pressure to get the job done ourselves. It’s a good idea to have a professional work on our muscles with that effective dosage.