Back pain. Knee pain. Fibromyalgia. Car accidents. So many times I have wondered if my pain will ever go away. It is hard to be objective when it is you that’s hurting. You figure the pain will never go away because it is so real…..so touchable……. It might get better for others….but this pain will not go away. Just as I have been wrong most of the time with the occasional pain in my body you too are probably wrong. I will attempt to bring to light issues and solutions that are going to help you deal with the questions you have about your pain. And if I can’t do it in writing contact me and I will do it in my clinic in Garden Grove, CA. I am Dr. Daniel Buda, an orthopedic physical therapist in practice for ten years. I am an avid cyclist and soccer player so I have had the occasional pain and (before becoming a physical therapist) the occasional question that most of the time remained unanswered. Well, times have changed and technology allows you to tap into a whole new resource. Use it!

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A patient asked me today: What’s the difference between a physical therapist and a chiropractor? What do you think? Is that a fair question? Have you asked yourself the same question before? I will give you definitions for both professions but first let me ask you some questions which will help you answer the question by yourself. If your mother had a stroke would you take her to the chiropractor? How about if your child had cerebral palsy? Chiropractor or physical therapist? If you were dizzy and fell a lot would you call a physical therapist or a chiropractor? Here is a harder question: what would you do if you had back pain?

 Let me begin by giving you the definitions provided by the professional associations of these two professions.

The American Physical Therapy Association states that a physical therapist should be:

-Examining individuals with impairment, functional limitation, and disability or other health related conditions in order to determine a diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention.

-Alleviating impairment and functional limitation by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions.

-Preventing injury, impairment, functional limitation, and disability, including the promotion and maintenance of fitness, health, and quality of life in people of all ages.

-Engaging in consultation, education, and research.

Here is how the American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic:  

– A drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.” 

I would say that the biggest difference is that physical therapy addresses functional impairment as related to pathology. In other words if there is something wrong with your body (trauma or strain or stroke….etc) you will have certain functional limitations. A physical therapist will assess these limitations and help you regain the function lost.

More on chiropractic in a later post.

For now, have a healthy, beautiful day. We’ll see you at OCDPT!

Welcome to OCDPT’s blog! We are opening new lines of communication between you, the patient, and OCDPT (Orange County Doctors of Physical Therapy). I will answer your questions at anytime. If I don’t know the answer I will get it or tell you where to find it. Please feel free to use this blog to express your concerns. You will find an interesting array of commentaries on contemporary health, fitness, nutrition, and recreational issues. And much more…..feel free to call us and schedule a time so we can see you and become familiar with your musculoskeletal problems.