Chiropractic vs Acupuncture: The Ultimate Guide

Doctor applying pressure to patient's neck

Last Updated on March 15, 2024

You might think that chiropractic and acupuncture treatments are the same, but there are subtle differences between them. Both are known as a solution for pain management as part of a physical rehabilitation program. If you are curious about chiropractic vs. acupuncture treatments, here is our ultimate guide. 13w

Are you looking for an experienced chiropractor or acupuncturist? Inner Gate Health & Wellness provides both of these services. Our multiple good reviews make us the best in the Portland area!

What Is Chiropractic Treatment?

When some patients need help with pain relief, they turn to chiropractic treatments. These methods use a hands-on approach to examine, diagnose, and treat patients. One of the most common forms of chiropractic treatment is spinal manipulation. With this, pressure is applied to the spine to restore the mobility of the joints. All chiropractic practitioners are highly trained, with most completing about five years of coursework at an accredited college. The student must spend at least 4,200 hours of class time, lab work, and clinical studies in these programs. 

Related: How A Chiropractor can help heal a pinched nerve 

Chiropractic Treatments Advantages

These treatments are an ideal option for patients experiencing back, neck, and joint pain. In many cases, those with neuromusculoskeletal problems can find relief through these treatment options. Many patients and medical professionals prefer these treatments because they are noninvasive and drug-free. These chiropractic treatments can help patients recover faster than other methods. Since there has been a focus on pain medication dependence, chiropractic treatments are a great alternative to those traditional pain relief options. 

A young man holding his lower back

Disadvantages of Chiropractic Treatments

While there are plenty of benefits of chiropractic treatment, it does have a few disadvantages. After a treatment session, some patients have felt some soreness or aches in some areas of the body. However, many of these ailments dissipate after 24 hours. Despite these issues, chiropractic manipulation continues to have an excellent track record in its safety. Plus, many patients are happy to find an alternative to heavy pain medications. Unfortunately, some insurance companies do not pay for chiropractic treatments, which can be a barrier to those patients seeking pain relief. In addition to that, some adjustments must be completed over a series of visits, adding to the treatment costs. 

What Is Acupuncture?

Some patients are a little nervous about the acupuncture procedure. Since it is considered complementary medicine, medical professionals might not suggest this treatment to their patients right away. Acupuncture involves using thin metallic needles to stimulate points on the body. When the needles are inserted into the skin, they can be manipulated by electrical stimuli or the practitioner’s hand. This treatment regulates the flow of vital energy in the body known as the “qi.” For thousands of years, Asian medicine practitioners have used these techniques.

Along with that, acupuncture is one of the basic treatment methods in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This type of pain relief is an excellent alternative for that experiencing neck, joint, and back pain. Some patients have even found relief for their headaches with acupuncture. 

Advantages of Acupuncture

One of the biggest pros of acupuncture is that it is considered a safe treatment option. However, you always want to find someone who has experience in the field. In many cases, acupuncture can treat a variety of problems, from tennis elbow to carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition to that, acupuncture can improve the respiratory system, relieve insomnia, and reduce stress. Plus, these treatment options can give a sense of well-being to the patient. 

When compared to other types of treatments, acupuncture is significantly cheaper. Despite the benefits, there is some controversy surrounding these treatments and their effectiveness. Many medical professionals still believe in acupuncture treatment, and there have been encouraging studies demonstrating the pain-relief abilities of this method. In most situations, patients who are recovering see faster results with their recovery. Acupuncture is known to reduce inflammation and increase circulation to help in the healing process. In many states, acupuncturists are required to pass the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) exam before starting to treat patients. 

Related: Understanding Low Back Pain – Health & Wellness in Oregon

Acupuncture Disadvantages

Since acupuncture involves needles, many patients believe that the treatments will be painful. There is no doubt that a patient will feel some discomfort, but the feeling is more of a pressurized sensation than actual pain. With the right acupuncture practitioner, the patient should have a relaxed experience with this pain relief method. Acupuncture is a generally safe option when performed by a well-trained individual, There are fewer side effects than other pain relief treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injections. Like chiropractic treatment, acupuncture is often covered by insurance companies.

A person receiving an acupuncture needle in the knee

Chiropractic Acupuncture

Some patients can find a practitioner who offers both chiropractic and acupuncture services. There is a field known as chiropractic acupuncture that combines both of these practices. With these dual treatments, the patient sees both the chiropractor and the acupuncturist on the same visit. There is no need to schedule separate visits, making it a convenient option for patients. Plus, when these treatments are combined, it leads to a better pain management outcome for the individual. Most of these acupuncture practitioners are qualified chiropractors who are governed by the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture.

Related: 5 Acupressure Points to Receive Stress and Anxiety

Which Option Is Best for You?

When you need help with pain management, you need to decide which one is the best option for you. With advice from your physician and knowing your personal comfort levels, you will find a suitable method to help alleviate and manage pain. Your chiropractor or acupuncturist can discuss these treatments so that you choose the ideal choice for therapeutic care. Both chiropractic and acupuncture treatments are effective, but only you can decide which one is the best solution for your needs.

Are you looking for a noninvasive way to manage or relieve pain? Turn to the best Acupuncturist in Portland! Inner Gate Health & Wellness not only provides acupuncture, but also chiropractic, naturopathic, and massage therapy treatments. 

1 thought on “Chiropractic vs Acupuncture: The Ultimate Guide”

  1. synergy physiotherapyclinic

    Thank you for sharing! I like the insightful comparison between chiropractic and acupuncture! It’s great to see the benefits of both therapies highlighted so clearly. Well done!

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