The boundaries between chiros, osteos, physios, and massage therapists, etcetera, are becoming increasingly blurred these days. Unfortunately there is a large misconception amongst the general population about the role of various health practitioners and how they fit into the health industry.

There are so many different types of practitioners now that people are confused as to what their expertise really are. It’s a bit like trying to buy milk- too many options! Imagine for a moment, if all these professionals were instead suddenly called, musculoskeletal therapists – how would you then choose the person to help with your lower back, neck or shoulder pain? How would you go about finding out who the best practitioner for your condition would be?

Part of my work as a chiropractor involves presenting to various companies in the North Sydney area. I speak about about the importance of good ergonomic practice in todays office environment, and explain some of the practices available for treating poor posture and related injuries. At the end of these presentations, I provide free injury assessments for the staff which is always greatly appreciated.

These talks provide a great opportunity to educate people, not just about Cartwright Physicaltherapy, but more importantly, the benefits of chiropractic care, what chiropractors are capable of treating,the methods used for treatment and the overall similarities and differences between other related health professions.

In my opinion, people should choose their health practitioner based simply on their experience treating certain conditions and their methods of doing so, rather than outdated ideas, for example, that chiros can only help with spine related issues whilst physios deal with sports injuries and rehabilitation.

Considering only a certain university qualification, is a poor indicator of the wealth of knowledge an experienced health practitioner has accrued throughout a career. For me, studying chiropractic was simply about learning how to become skilful in joint manipulation – a highly effective treatment modality.

Since completing my five year Masters of Chiropractic, I have added many more strings to my bow that are independent of the chiropractic, physiotherapy, or any other professions. My goal is to continue to learn more about health and the range of therapies available, not so that I will become a better chiropractor, but rather so that I will become a better health practitioner. It is for these reasons that I view myself less so as a chiropractor and more so as a health practitioner. It is also the reason why the practice is called, Cartwright Physicaltherapy, not Cartwright Chiropractic.

Whilst I understand, I’m still always a little surprised that people choose their practitioner by location and convenience. Wow, what a gamble people are taking that the person they see there will be any good! It also seems many people prioritise clinics that offer on-the-spot health insurance rebates, over clinics that havebetter practitioners. This completely shocks me!

My advice to those seeking out a professional to help them with a musculoskeletal complaint, is to research more closely the individual you are considering. Look at their qualification, but pay more attention to their extramural studies.

My hope is that I can spread this message further amongst people suffering musculoskeletal complaints so that they can make more informed decisions about health care, and receiving the right treatment for their condition. If you think employees at your place of work could benefit from a similar such presentation, please get in touch with us by emailing getbetter@cartwrightphysicaltherapy.com or calling 02 9922 6116.