Is physio or chiro better for lower back pain?

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April 8, 2023
Winston Truong

Which is better?

There are many different types of treatment for lower back pain, and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Some people swear by physiotherapy, while others find relief through chiropractic adjustments. So, which should you choose? Before deciding, it’s important to understand the difference between these two types of treatment. Physiotherapy focuses on improving movement and function through exercises and other physical therapies. On the other hand, chiropractic care involves manipulating the spine to improve alignment and relieve pain. Both physiotherapy and chiropractic care can be effective for treating lower back pain. The best way to decide which is right for you is to speak with your doctor or a spine specialist. They will be able to assess your individual needs and make a recommendation based on your specific condition.

What is physio?

Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, is a healthcare profession that treats physical impairments and promotes mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, diagnosis and physical intervention. Physiotherapists are highly trained health care professionals who partner with patients and clients to maximize their quality of life. Physiotherapy in Sydney can treat various conditions, including back pain, neck pain, joint pain, headaches, migraines, TMJ disorders (jaw), overuse injuries (tendinitis/bursitis), arthritis, post-operative rehabilitation, sports injuries and more. Your physiotherapist will develop a personalized treatment plan based on your individual needs and goals.

What is a chiro?

Chiropractors are health care professionals who focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. They treat patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to treat their patients, including manual adjustments, physical therapy, and lifestyle counselling. Chiropractors are often consulted for lower back pain. While there is debate about whether chiropractic care or physiotherapy is more effective for this condition, both treatment methods can help relieve pain and restore function. Chiropractors may use a combination of spinal manipulation, mobilisation, and other techniques to treat lower back pain. Physiotherapists may use exercises, massage, heat/cold therapies, and electrical stimulation to relieve pain and improve function.

How do they compare?

When deciding whether physio or chiro is better for lower back pain, there is no easy answer. Both have pros and cons, and the best decision ultimately depends on the individual's specific needs and preferences. Physio generally focuses on exercises and stretches that aim to strengthen the muscles around the spine, improve flexibility, and promote good posture. This can help to prevent further injury and relieve pain in the short term. However, it may take several weeks or even months of regular physio sessions before significant improvements are seen. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, involves manual adjustment of the spine to correct any misalignments. This can provide quick relief from pain and improve the range of motion.

Which is better for lower back pain?

There is no easy answer regarding which is better for lower back pain, physio or chiro. While there are many success stories about both, it depends on the individual case. Some people find that physio helps to strengthen the muscles around the spine and alleviate pain, while others find that chiropractic adjustments help to align the spine and provide relief. Ultimately, it is important to consult a healthcare professional to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.


In conclusion, physiotherapy and chiropractic care in Sydney can effectively treat lower back pain. However, there is no clear consensus on which approach is best. Some experts recommend physiotherapy, while others suggest chiropractic care. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the individual's preferences and needs.

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