Differences Between Chiropractic Care And Physical Therapy

Chiropractic Work

A chiropractor will focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and nervous system and review how they affect general health. Chiropractic care is most often used for pain in the back, neck, arm/leg joins, or headaches. Chiropractic work is hands-on and drug-free with three stages: examination, diagnosis, and treatment.

Some chiropractic treatments are on-going, with “maintenance care” while others are routine, like once every week or once every month. A doctor of chiropractic has a broad knowledge of different neuromusculoskeletal issues and works to provide dietary, nutritional, and lifestyle counseling as part of treatment.

chiropractic care

Physical Therapists

On the other hand, physical therapists are licensed health care professionals who focus on improving/restoring mobility or reducing pain in patients—in most cases, doing so without long-term use of medication and without surgery.

In order to achieve long-term benefits for their health, PTs can teach patients how to manage their condition and prevent further damage so they can stay strong. PTs examine each patient’s condition individually to come up with a customized plan that fits their needs. They then implement techniques that promote the patient’s ability to move, reduce pain, prevent disability, and restore function.

PTs also work with individuals to prevent mobility loss before it occurs by helping them with wellness and fitness oriented programs that helps them lead healthier, more active lives.

physical therapy

What’s the difference?

While the goal of physical therapy and chiropractic is often similar: to decrease pain, the methods of each of these therapeutic programs are quite different.

Chiropractic focuses on hands-on adjustments made to the patient to help re-align their body and assist their body in healing itself. Chiropractic also involves recommending diet changes, rehabilitative exercises, and offering lifestyle counseling.

Meanwhile, physical therapy is focused on helping a patient regain their mobility and/or reduce their pain by getting them active. PTs suggest exercises to help with mobility and recommend diet/lifestyle changes that will help a patient manage their condition.

What’s Better?

No one can say whether physical therapy is better than chiropractic or the other way around. It depends completely on the patient’s individual needs and which approach will work best for them.

Patients often try out both chiropractic and physical therapy to see which plan helps them better manage their pain. Whether PT or chiropractic care is recommended boils down to each patient’s individual issues. No matter what, each PT or doctor of chiropractic should work on a case-by-case basis and give customized care to each patient.