When to Get Physical Therapy vs. Chiropractic Care

Despite being different in a number of ways, both physical therapists and chiropractors have the same overall goal – to reduce your pain and improve your range of motion so that you can enjoy a good quality of life. They also both deal with injuries affecting the joints and soft tissues and use a range of different techniques to do this. However, here is where the similarities between these two different branches of alternative therapy end.   


What is a Chiropractor?


Chiropractors mostly use their fingers, hands, forearms, and elbows to realign the spine and other joints. There are many different techniques that they may use, but all are designed to bring the bones of the spine into proper alignment so that any pressure on the surrounding nerves is relieved. They include spinal manipulations, massage, trigger point therapy, spinal decompression, and more.


Chiropractic treatment has been shown to be extremely versatile, and a valuable therapeutic technique for addressing a wide range of different issues. These include, but aren’t limited to:


  • Stress and anxiety

  • Poor sleep

  • Unexplained back pain

  • General joint discomfort

  • Pregnancy symptoms including nausea, headaches, and fatigue

  • Whiplash and other auto-accident injuries

  • Chronic pain


Chiropractic treatment can be carried out in just a few sessions, or over a longer period. However, most people only visit for as long as they are experiencing symptoms. Despite this, chiropractic care can benefit many aspects of life, whether you are injured or not. Your chiropractor will create a bespoke treatment plan based on your individual needs.


What is a Physical Therapist?

A physical therapist is very similar to a chiropractor, but the treatment that is performed focuses primarily on movement and muscles. This means that most of your sessions will be spent moving around and building strength in your muscles and increasing your existing flexibility and range of motion. Physiotherapy techniques include muscle stretching, muscle building, joint movement, and joint manipulation.


Physical therapy is usually recommended in several different circumstances. The first is following an accident or injury and the second is following a planned surgery/procedure, where chiropractic care can help to accelerate healing and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Finally, physical therapy is often chosen by sports people as it enables them to recover more quickly and can even help to prevent future injuries.


Visiting a physical therapist tends to be a longer experience than getting chiropractic treatment. This is primarily because physiotherapists mostly work on long-term rehabilitation plans – for example, helping a patient who has had a knee replacement learn to walk on their new knee.



If you aren’t sure whether chiropractic care or physical therapy is right for you, can schedule a consultation with us to find out! Call Comprehensive Chiropractic Center in Sunrise, Florida at (954) 807-2200.

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