What is the difference between Chiropractic and physical therapy?

Physical Therapy Vs Chiropractic

What is the difference between Chiropractic and physical therapy?

When seeking conservative treatment options for musculoskeletal conditions, two commonly considered approaches are Chiropractic care and physical therapy. While these two disciplines share some similarities, they differ in their philosophies, techniques, and areas of expertise.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders related to the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. Chiropractors believe many health issues can be attributed to the nervous system’s functioning. The primary goal of Chiropractic treatment is to restore proper function to the spine, allowing the body to heal naturally.

Treatment Techniques

Chiropractors utilise various techniques, including spinal adjustments or manipulations, to correct dysfunctions and improve joint mobility. These adjustments involve applying controlled, sudden force to specific areas of the spine or other joints. In addition to adjustments, Chiropractors may also use other manual therapies, such as soft tissue massage, stretching, and exercises, to support overall musculoskeletal health.

Conditions Treated

Chiropractors commonly treat back pain, neck pain, headaches, sciatica, and joint pain. Chiropractic care aims to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance the body’s ability to function by addressing spinal stiffness.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, focuses on optimising physical function, promoting mobility, and improving quality of life. Physical therapists employ various techniques and exercises to address musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions, aiming to restore function, prevent further injury, and enhance overall physical well-being.

Treatment Techniques

woman is getting treated by chiropractor
Physical therapists use various techniques tailored to the patient’s specific needs. These may include therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, heat and cold therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and other modalities. Physical therapy treatments typically focus on improving strength, flexibility, range of motion, balance and coordination.

Conditions Treated

Physical therapy can help manage various conditions, including post-surgical rehabilitation, sports injuries, chronic pain, neurological disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders. Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and conditions to develop personalised treatment plans to address their unique needs and goals.

Key Differences

Philosophical Approach

Chiropractic care emphasises the relationship between spinal health and overall well-being, focusing on the spine’s role in maintaining proper nervous system function. On the other hand, physical therapy takes a broader approach, targeting physical function, mobility, and rehabilitation across various body areas.

Treatment Techniques

Chiropractors primarily use spinal adjustments and manual therapies to address dysfunction in the spine and restore spinal function/mobility. Physical therapists employ various techniques to address various conditions and functional impairments, including exercises, modalities, and manual therapies.

Scope of Practice

woman chiropractic treating neck pain

Chiropractors primarily focus on the musculoskeletal system and the spine’s relationship to overall health. Physical therapists have a broader scope, addressing various conditions and functional limitations throughout the body.

Understanding the difference between Chiropractic care and physical therapy is crucial when considering conservative treatment options for musculoskeletal conditions. While Chiropractic care focuses on the spine’s role in overall health and utilises spinal adjustments, physical therapy takes a broader approach, emphasising physical function, rehabilitation, and personalised treatment plans. Both disciplines can be valuable in managing musculoskeletal conditions, and choosing the most appropriate approach depends on individual needs, preferences and the advice of healthcare professionals. Find us here to get more information about us. Discover more chiropractic blogs and the latest news here. 

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Sign up for our Newsletter

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit

CALL FOR A BOOKING
EXCELLENT
42 reviews on
Jason Handley
Jason Handley
2024-02-16
I can highly recommend giving them a go if you are in pain or suffering from sleep problems. I have been seeing Justin there for 6 weeks now and he is very professional and has helped me with pain management and movement
Matthew Webb
Matthew Webb
2024-02-16
Justin is fantastic, could not recommend highly enough. Polite, friendly and welcoming staff.
Noin Raju
Noin Raju
2024-01-17
Thanks to Dr Justin,very informative and feel much relief just in first session....
Colin Bevan
Colin Bevan
2024-01-01
Very pleased with the expertise and friendliness of this practise. Justin is a very confident and caring specialist.
Aunty Doris Whitbread (IpparityMurundu)
Aunty Doris Whitbread (IpparityMurundu)
2023-12-17
Justin is very thorough & I felt immediate relief after my first treatment. I recommend this service to anyone who is suffering with spinal pain. They will help you.
Padma Lee
Padma Lee
2023-12-04
I’m quite new to Innate Connection, but have received network chiropractic treatment at various stages of my life since I was a child. The team at Innate Connection have been wonderfully warm and welcoming. Dr Gretchen Balas has been providing wholistic support for my injury and it has been great to see that even after many years, my body still remembers how to move and breathe and gradually heal itself.
Lorraine Cretella
Lorraine Cretella
2023-12-01
Lovley people Justin understands your needs and is very professional in his approach
Michael Brown
Michael Brown
2023-11-29
Have been going to Justin for a while now and am so happy with the change to my back. Pain gone and mobility back. The team have been fantastic.
Maree Rothwell
Maree Rothwell
2023-11-21
Great Innate chiro care. A lovely practice with lovely staff. Gretchen has taken care of me and my children for many years. Lesley the chiro assistant is friendly helpful and always professional.

Enquire Here