Chiropractic vs Physical Therapy: What Are the Differences?

It’s estimated that over 35 million Americans (both children and adults) undergo some type of chiropractic care each year. While this is impressive, it’s estimated that each year over 300 million physical therapy sessions are scheduled across the U.S.

Both services help individuals who are ill, injured, and suffering mobility issues. However, you may wonder – what’s the difference between chiropractic vs. physical therapy services?

If that’s the case, keep reading. Here, you can learn more about physical therapy and chiropractic care. You can also learn how these two practices differ from one another.


To work as a chiropractor, it’s necessary first to have a bachelor’s degree. After that, it is necessary to go to school to earn a Doctor’s or Chiropractic degree.

Once complete, chiropractors must pass the required exams and get their state license.

To work as a practicing physical therapist, an individual must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

Treatment Philosophies

Sometimes, care provided by a chiropractor and physical therapist cross over. While this is true, the focus of each professional is unique.

Chiropractic Care

For chiropractors, their focus is your nervous and musculoskeletal system. This includes tendons, muscles, joints, and their functions.

Chiropractors work to relieve pain and inflammation. This is done with spinal manipulation and alignment.

In some cases, dietary and lifestyle changes are recommended. Chiropractors want to help prevent future issues for their patients.

Some of the top conditions treated by chiropractors include:

  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Backaches
  • Sports injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Neck pain

If you experience these, chiropractic care may be a smart option.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist usually treats injured or sick patients. They work to restore your body’s function, mobility, and strength. The first step of the process is an evaluation and diagnosis.

A PT will create wellness plans for patients. They will use treatments like new postures, exercises, and manipulation in treatment. All this is done to alleviate and prevent pain and injuries.

A physical therapist may also treat individuals with restricted movement. This issue may be the result of surgery, an accident, injury, or health condition.

Some of the reasons to schedule an appointment with Performax include:

  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Arthritis

For these conditions, go to a physical therapist.

Treatment Methods

You can find both a physical therapy guide and chiropractic guide online about services offered by each professional.

Some of the main differences are seen in whom these professionals treat and how patients are treated.

For example, chiropractors rely on things like laser therapy, massages, and spinal manipulation to solve pain issues. Physical therapists help individuals relearn skills they lost due to an injury or pain.

Now You Know the Difference between Chiropractic vs. Physical Therapy

Have you ever wondered what is physical therapy or what is chiropractic care? If so, you should have a better understanding now. If you aren’t sure what treatment you need for chiropractic vs. physical therapy, talk to your doctor.

Did you find the information and resources here beneficial? If so, be sure to check out some of the other blogs we have posted on our website.