by Ashley Klein, PT, DPT
“Do you think a visit to the chiropractor would help the pain I am having?” is a common question many clients ask during their physical therapy appointments. Oftentimes the answer to this question depends on the client, however, many clients use physical therapy and chiropractic care in conjunction with each other. What is the difference between the two professions? How can each profession help manage pain and movement dysfunction?
Like physical therapy, chiropractors focus on conservative management of musculoskeletal pain. They typically focus on the spine, but can treat other joints and tissues as well. Chiropractic means “to be done by hand” and specialize in spinal adjustment and maintenance over time. They have the ability to take x-rays in order to visualize joints and proceed with the appropriate adjustment. Besides adjustments and other hands on treatment, chiropractors are also educated on overall health promotion and holistic health.
Physical therapists are trained to evaluate range of motion, strength, joint mobility, and functional abilities. The goal of physical therapy to achieve pain-free functioning during daily activities. While physical therapists also treat with their hands, they also typically prescribe exercises to improve mobility, increase strength, reduce pain and to return the client to their full functioning.
How are physical therapists and chiropractors similar?
- Both require a doctoral level of education
- Both help manage pain without the use of medications and surgery
- Both work in together with other health care providers such as your primary care physician
- Both treat the whole body from head to toe
- Both use hands on techniques
Physical therapist and chiropractors generally have the same goals for their clients: achieve optimal function and live a pain-free life. So if you’re experiencing any pain that is hindering you from certain activities set up an appointment with one of our movement experts. Do so online or by calling 866-588-0230.