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  • Writer's pictureMiracle Rehab Clinic

๐—ฃ๐—ต๐˜†๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐˜† ๐—ฉ๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ: ๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜'๐˜€ ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ?

Physical therapy, in simple terms, is a less painful and intrusive way to take care of pain or injuries than drugs. Sometimes, some injuries require exercise rather than drugs and physical therapy is the answer.ย 

On the other hand, a chiropractor simply refers to a licensed therapist whose job is to treat patients with disorders in the bones and muscles. Chiropractors use the hand to massage the joints, neck, and back to relieve pain and improve mobility and flexibility.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn the similarities and differences between physical therapy and chiropractor.

You'll also learn how they relate to their treatment approaches and techniques and information that will guide you in choosing between the two to suit your needs.

Let's get into it.ย 

Physical Therapy vs. Chiropractor: Similarities

If you look at it from a different angle, you'd discover that Physical therapy and Chiropractor are both health care treatments that focus on treating joints and muscle pain.

Their primary aim is to help relieve pain in the body. While they're different, they can also be very similar. Some similarities between physical therapy and Chiropractor are:ย 

  1. Musculoskeletal focus: The two focus on treating pain, such as joint pain, back pain, neck pain, and muscle injuries.

  1. Manual Therapy: The two practices involve using hands to perform needed functions.

  1. Non-surgical treatment: In both cases, there's absolutely no need for surgery.ย 

  1. Emphasize functionality: Ultimately, the goal of both physical therapy and Chiropractor is to help patients achieve functionality in their daily activities and overall quality of life.

Physical Therapy vs Chiropractor: Differences

The differences between these two practices may surprise you, especially when you realize they both use manual therapy. How different are they? Read on.ย 

Educational and training: A Physical therapist usually holds a Doctor of Physical Therapy ( DPT) degree, which involves extending education in physiology, anatomy, and biomechanics. Their counterparts receive a Doctor of Chiropractic ( D.C.) degree, which only focuses on diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions through manual therapies.

Method of practice: Physical therapists treat orthopedic, neurological, and cardiopulmonary disorders. They deal more with bone and muscle pain. Chiropractors concentrate on musculoskeletal issues, with the primary aim of spinal cord treatment and joint massage.ย 

Treatment Approaches: Physical therapists use several techniques to deal with muscle and bone issues. Sometimes, they also recommend exercises for the patient. Chiropractors only focus on spinal movements and seldom go beyond manual therapy.

To put it in a better light, let's examine their methods of operation.

Physical Therapy Treatment Approaches and Techniques

When you visit a physical therapist, you'll notice several things they'd dabble into to make your pain disappear. Some of them include:

Exercise Therapy: Physical therapists love exercise. They'll recommend a dozen of them for you if they have to. Why? It's simply because exercises help build muscle mass and bone strength. The more you exercise, the better the chances of getting your pain out of your body.ย 

Manual Therapy: To help you get better quickly, physical therapists use their hands to work into the areas where the pain is centered. That way, they get to the actual point and take that pain away.

Functional Training: Your regular activities but as a requirement now. You donโ€™t like stairs? Therapists donโ€™t care. They want you to climb that pain away.

Gait Training: Therapists often use simple exercises like standing, balancing or raising one leg to help you correct your gait. This also improves overall body balance.

Patient Education: Therapists empower patients to actively participate in their recovery and wellness exercises by providing information and guidance on injury prevention, body management, and maintaining flexibility and stability.

Chiropractor Treatment Approaches and Techniques

Chiropractors use different approaches and techniques in their practice. Their primary purpose is to treat the spine by using their hands to examine and treat health conditions related to bones, muscles and joints.

Their techniques are very much different from what a therapist would do. Letโ€™s take a look, shall we?

Spinal Adjustments: The first thing a chiropractor notices about you is how aligned your spine is. If thereโ€™s an anomaly, itโ€™s their job to correct that using their hands. The technique for this, however, can be gentle or a bit on the high side, depending on how severe your condition is.

2. Mobilization Techniques: Your chiropractor can also send little jolts of movement into specific areas where pain is present in your bones or joints. This is to help take care of that pain. You can be sure to hear things like:

  • Wrist/ hand mobilizationsย 

  • Knee mobilizationsย 

  • Ankle/ foot mobilizations

  • Shoulder mobilizations and manipulationย 

  • Elbow mobilizations.

3. Soft Tissue Therapy: This involves using manual techniques like massage to reduce muscle tension and improve mobility.

4. Physiotherapy Modalities: Sometimes, they also take a leaf from a therapistโ€™s tree of knowledge. They can use certain equipment like ultrasound to help detect and alleviate pain in the body.

5. Patient Education: Like therapists, chiropractors also give proper pain management techniques to their patients.

Choosing Between Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care

Therapy or chiropractic care? Which one should you go for?ย Your present condition, goals, and personal choice usually determine the answer.ย 

But letโ€™s help you narrow that down by checking the list. Ready?

Condition and symptoms: If your condition needs pain relief,ย muscle massage, injury prevention, post-surgical rehabilitation, and chronic conditions, you need a therapist.

You only need a chiropractor when your condition primarily focuses on spinal alignment and musculoskeletal conditions, such as back and neck pain. A chiropractor is the better choice if your condition is related to spinal issues or joint misalignments. However, if you have a more complex condition involving multiple body systems that requires a complete rehabilitation program, get your phone and call a therapist.

Treatment approach: When you need exercise therapy, manual therapy, and functional training to address pain, improve mobility, and restore functionality, you donโ€™t need to think twice. Call a therapist! Spinal manipulations and adjustments? A chiropractor, please. You're to consider which is suitable for your condition.

If possible, consult a physical therapist and a chiropractor to discuss your specific condition and goals. They can help you gain insights into their respective treatment approaches and help you make a better decision.

Frequently Asked Questionsย 

How do Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care Differ?

Physical therapists and chiropractors are both healthcare professionals who help people with muscle, joint, and bone problems, but they do it in different ways.

Physical therapy includes exercises, massages, and special treatment to strengthen your body and move better. A physical therapist might give you exercises to do at home or use equipment like heat pads or electrical stimulation to help your muscles feel better.

Chiropractors focus mostly on your spine. They use their hands to adjust and realign your spine by applying gentle pressure or quick movements. This is called spinal manipulation. Why? To help your spine work properly and reduce pain.

The main difference is that physical therapists go further than chiropractors by targeting different body parts with various techniques, while chiropractors concentrate primarily on your spine and use spinal adjustments.

Are Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care Covered by Insurance?

Yes, research shows that they are both covered by insurance. However, the coverage may vary depending on the specific plan and insurer.

Therefore, It is important to check with your insurance provider to understand the details of your plan's coverage for physical and chiropractic services.

You need to know if:

  • If the services are covered at all.

  • The number of covered visits and treatment duration.

How Do I Know If I Should Choose Physical Therapy Or Chiropractor Care For My Condition?

Choosing between the two requires your in-depth knowledge and understanding of the works and benefits of the two.

Physical therapy and chiropractic are two different healthcare methods that share similarities but also have their differences.ย 

Physical therapists are trained to use quite several approaches, like balance exercises, manual therapy, flexibility and stability exercises, to improve overall functional health. On the other hand, Chiropractor focuses on the spine and musculoskeletal system.ย 

Choosing between the two often depends on your physical and medical condition. This would determine which would be more beneficial to you. Also, it is recommended to seek the advice of your therapist for guidance.ย 

Final Thoughtsย 

Physical therapy and Chiropractor are two different health care methods that share similarities but also their differences. Choosing between the two often depends on the physical and medical condition of the individual as well as on their specific preferences and goals.

An individual should pay attention to your body's conditions and seek medical advice from a professional medical practitioner before choosing between a physical therapist and a chiropractor.

For a safe consultation, contact us.

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