Chiropractors and physical therapists are both health care professionals who provide non-surgical treatments for musculoskeletal conditions, but there are some key differences between chiropractic medicine and physical therapy that you should be aware of.
Chiropractors focus on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly those involving the spine. Physical therapists, on the other hand, focus on rehabilitation after injury or surgery. Both specialists work with patients to help them regain strength and range of motion in their affected body parts.
Let’s discuss further about the key differences between chiropractors and physical therapists.
Chiropractors vs. Physical Therapists
- Chiropractors focus on the alignment of the spine and other joints in the body. Physical therapists focus on improving movement and function throughout the body.
- Chiropractors use manual adjustments to improve joint function. Physical therapists use exercises, stretches, and massages to improve movement and function.
- Chiropractors typically see patients with back pain, neck pain, migraines, and headaches. Physical therapists typically see these patients, as well, along with patients with injuries or chronic conditions such as arthritis, and those who need or recently had surgery.
- Chiropractors must complete a four-year undergraduate degree and a four-year Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program. During their studies, chiropractors take courses in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and other basic sciences. In addition to academic coursework, students participate in clinical internships where they gain hands-on experience treating patients.
- Physical therapists must complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree after studying a bachelor’s degree program that fits the requirements of a DPT program. Physical therapists study human anatomy and physiology, as well as the biomechanics of movement. In addition, they receive training in how to prevent and treat injuries, rehabilitate patients after injury or surgery, and promote overall health and wellness.
- The goal of chiropractic medicine is to manipulate the vertebrae into their proper position, which will ease the pressure on the surrounding nerves, improve the function of the spine and nervous system, and bring about healing to the body.
- The goal of physical therapy is to build strength, improve flexibility and range of motion, and restore mobility.
- A chiropractor uses different techniques to treat patients, examples of which include spinal manipulation, spinal traction, soft tissue mobilization and massage, and nutritional and lifestyle advice. A lot of the techniques are performed by the chiropractor.
- A physical therapist uses techniques such as passive and active stretching, heat and cold therapy, massage therapy, kinesiology taping, and training in the use of assistive devices. A lot of the techniques are performed by the patient.
Chiropractic Care and Physical Rehabilitation in Fort Worth, TX
If you have pain in the back and neck due to a spinal misalignment issue or have an injury or are in recovery from surgery, our highly skilled chiropractic specialists and physical therapists at Texas Medical Institute in Fort Worth, Texas, can help ease your symptoms. We use various non-surgical treatment modalities, and our recommendations will depend on the results of our assessment of your condition. We offer you the great convenience of not having to choose two different facilities for two different services. You can receive chiropractic care and physical therapy in a single location.
To schedule an appointment for chiropractic care or physical therapy, call our office today at (817) 615-8633 or use our convenient online appointment request form.