Should I See an Orthopedist or a Chiropractor?

When making the decision between seeing an orthopedist and a chiropractor following a traumatic accident, you should start by visiting the nearest hospital and having all of your injuries assessed by an emergency department doctor is usually the best choice following a traumatic accident. An ER doctor may tell you if you should see a specialist. If not, the decision is in your hands. Whether to see an orthopedist or chiropractor, or perhaps both, depends on your injuries.

            What Orthopedists Do

An orthopedist is a licensed doctor who focuses his practice on the treatment of injured or deformed parts of the body; particularly parts of the body which enable motion.

  • Muscles

  • Bones

  • Nerves

  • Ligaments

  • Tendons

  • Joints

Orthopedists are known for working with accident victims who sustained broken bones, including those injured in car accidents. They set broken bones, replace joints, repair joints, and provide prosthetics for victims of amputation injuries. Orthopedists perform surgery when necessary.

            What Chiropractors Do

Chiropractors provide an even more focused service to their patients, most often performing spinal manipulation to realign vertebrae. Unlike orthopedists, chiropractors offer a more hands-on approach to their work, relying not on surgery and medication but on manual, hand-to-body treatment. This is why many refer to the work of a chiropractor as “alternative medicine.”

            Which to Choose?

Your choice of orthopedist or chiropractor really depends on the nature of your injuries. The choice is really about your medical preferences and the extent of your injuries.

For even more information on injury treatment, as well as advice on avoiding medical malpractice in Pennsylvania, see the other articles located on our website, in our medical malpractice law articles section.