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What is the difference between a chiropractor and a physical therapist?

Apr 21


More people are experiencing neck and back discomfort. Chiropractic therapy by Finlayson Family Chiropractic and physical therapy are two of the most effective treatments for this kind of pain. But each has its own advantages. Learn about the advantages and benefits of chiropractic care as compared to. an PT to help you determine which one is right for you.

Two Strategies for Effective Therapy

Let's begin by looking at the similarities and distinctions between chiropractic care and physical therapy and how they differ.


Both therapies are valid and have been proven to be effective in treating various symptoms. Both treatments can be used to treat certain conditions. But, each treatment could be better suited to certain patients.


Other Treatment Philosophy

Let's look at the differences between a chiropractor, physical therapist and others to help you choose the most effective treatment option for your condition.


  • Chiropractic care is specifically focused on the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system, which includes muscles, nerves, and tendons. This kind of treatment is linked to the alignment of the spine. It can be used to treat any issue such as carpal tunnel injuries, neck injuries knee pain, other ailments. Chiropractic therapy can include massage adjustments of the spine, as well as the use of sophisticated equipment.

  • Physical therapy is a common practice. It can be utilized to treat any medical condition and to restore mobility. Physical therapy is also able to bring back vital functions, such as the ability to stand and walk. Since it is essential for recovery, many hospitals will offer a physical therapist.


Other Goals

Although both chiropractic and physical therapy have the same aim of helping patients however, their motivations are different.

  • The principal purpose of chiropractors is treating the patient's pain. They can also help patients recover their mobility.

  • The main objective of physical therapy is to restore mobility. Patients are also motivated and encouraged to put in the effort to acquire new techniques.


Different Treatments

  • Chiropractic care involves subtle adjustments to the spine. It also includes other treatments like massage or laser therapy that reduce inflammation. Patients can resolve their issues by learning from chiropractors about the relationships between the spine, the nerves.

  • A physical therapist acts as a coach for the patient. They assist patients in regaining lost abilities due to injury or pain. The patient might have a difficult time with physical therapy because they are pushed to move around to improve their abilities for everyday living.


Conditions Resolved with Chiropractic Therapy

It's amazing how many problems chiropractic treatment can address. The injuries that chiropractic therapy can treat include:

  • Shoulder discomfort

  • Sports injuries

  • Whiplash and other neck problems

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Headaches, migraines

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Knee, foot or ankle discomfort

  • Lower back discomfort


Examples of Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic alignments are the most basic type. Chiropractic uses the Ultralign system that allows patients to stay entirely clothed while observing changes to their spine.

Massage therapy is another efficient treatment for inflammation.


Examples Of Physical Therapy Treatment

Some physical therapy treatments include:

  • An exercise program the patient must do each day

  • The use of heat and cold therapy to ease the pain and allow for movement

  • Techniques for massage and ultrasounds can help reduce the pain and spasms in muscles.


If an injury limits the movement of the hand physical therapy is recommended. Physical therapy is suggested for those who have hurt their hands and are unable to grasp objects.


Another case is one who has been in an automobile accident, which left them unable to walk. A physical therapist may be able to help. Therapists can help the patient get outside of their comfort zone and teach them to walk once more. Physical therapy is sometimes painful and can be difficult in certain instances. However, it can often increase mobility after injuries.


Finlayson Family Chiropractic

6201 Pacific Ave STE A, Tacoma, WA 98408

(253) 302–3750

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