What is the Difference Between A Physical Therapist And A Chiropractor?

There is no doubt that there are many medical professions in the world today. Each of them has their unique attributes, advantages and benefits. But at various times, these medical professions tend to overlap each other in terms of their scope of practice and application. Take into consideration the medical profession of physical therapy and chiropractic.

Without prior knowledge or background of physical therapy and chiropractic, you might be confused to which healthcare service you should choose. Therefore, it is important to distinguish their differences.

Chiropractic is a profession that deals with the diagnosis, management and prevention of disorders of the nervous and musculoskeletal muscles. They are primarily focused on the anatomy and physiology of the spine. Their specialty is to perform spinal manipulation, which is an attempt to manually adjust or align the spine in the aim of re-establishing proper structure and position. Chiropractic operates within the guiding principle that doing spinal manipulation would help the body heal itself without the aid of medications and surgeries.

On the other hand, physical therapy is concern for performing management procedures and methods to treat and prevent mechanical injuries, disorders and diseases that could potential affect the general ability of a person to carry out functional and meaningful movements. Physical therapists treat their patient through exercise, soft tissue massage, stretching, neuromuscular re-education, electrotherapeutic modalities and a lot more.

One area of difference could be the educational curriculum of each medical profession. The core subjects of chiropractic concentrates on the spine with familiarization of various life science. Physical therapists are more on the therapeutic and rehabilitative procedures combined with different scientific disciplines that pertain to the human body.

Today, chiropractic has evolved to be both an effective mainstream and alternative medicine. Most chiropractors practice in clinics and other settings that might need their help. However, physical therapists have a wider reach in terms of the settings where they work. They can work in outpatient clinics, homes, fitness centers, schools, workplaces, offices, companies, hospitals, hospices, rehabilitation facilities and other medical institutions. Furthermore, they can extend their practice by having specialty trainings in orthopedics, pediatrics, geriatrics and neurologic.

These are just some of the obvious difference of physical therapy and chiropractic. Though it is undeniable that they have differences, they also share common grounds. Both medical professions offer a bright future for individuals who want to pursue any of these careers. All you need to do is know your real need and preference to decide which one to take.


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