Physical therapy and chiropractic care both aim to relieve pain and assist in recovering from an injury or condition. However, there are many differences between the two disciplines.
The biggest difference between physical therapy and chiropractic care is their method of treatment.
Physical therapists address improper joint alignment and movement patterns, imbalance and limitations in motion in order to help restore movement, which often involves treating the nervous system and musculoskeletal system.
Typically, a physical therapist will use a variety of stretching techniques, exercises and low impact manipulation during the rehabilitative process. They focus on improving quality of daily life and helping patients return back to their favorite leisure activities.
Chiropractic care is a field that focuses on treating the spine and joints from mechanical disorders, as well as emphasizing proper body alignment. Chiropractors use hands-on techniques to perform manipulations and adjustments which help the body heal itself.
Chiropractic care most often treats neuromusculoskeletal conditions, such as back pain, joint pain and neck pain. They spend a great deal of focus on something called “vertebral subluxation”, which is the result of spinal misalignments or compromised functionality of the spine due to changes of the joint. Chiropractors work on correcting the misalignments (or subluxations) of the spine in order to relieve pain.
Many people find great success when utilizing both physical therapy and chiropractic services together. Physical therapists and chiropractors often treat similar conditions and areas of the body, leading to an effective and safe recovery.