Chiropractor Vs Physical Therapist
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Chiropractor Vs Physical Therapist



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Both chiropractors and physical therapists use non-invasive drug-free treatments to alleviate pain. Yet, the similarities between both a chiropractor and physical therapist do not stop there!

What Does A Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractic treatment is a hands-on approach to examining, treating and diagnosing a patient. Typically, patients will seek the services of a chiropractor when they are experiencing pain or looking for prevention. Spinal manipulation tends to be one of the most common therapeutic chiropractic treatments today. This form of manipulation is used to restore mobility of the joints.

Required to complete up to five years of specialized coursework at an accredited college of chiropractic medicine, these medical professionals are highly trained and skilled. Prospective chiropractors must complete a minimum of 4,200 hours in the classroom, labs and clinical work.

Chiropractic adjustments are pretty affordable and short sessions work wonders. Chiropractic management can offer vital health benefits, comprising of back and neck relief, arm or wrist pains, sleeping disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis strain and tension afflictions, sciatica, bursitis, knee pain, foot pain, ankle pain, fibromyalgia, and much more.

Chiropractic care is considered to be beneficial for neck pain and headaches. It also improves nervous system functionality, offer precautionary care, relieve prenatal irritation, and increase energy.

What Does A Physical Therapist Do?

Commonly referred to as physiotherapists, physical therapists work with their hands the same way chiropractors do. The main focus of a physical therapist is to treat the injury and/or disorder by achieving mobility or normal functioning without the use of surgery or medication(s). They work with the patients to restore muscle movement, typically following some sort of accident or physical trauma. Exercises, stretching and other techniques used by physical therapists can improve quality of life.

Considered to be movement experts, physical therapists are focused on restoring normal movements for individuals. PTs will work through a wide range of injuries, usually related to back and neck pain, arthritis, swelling in joints, sports injuries and sciatica. They can also assist in any pre and post-operative rehabilitation of any musculoskeletal issues.

To resolve these persistent troubles, PTs use hands-on techniques like massage, stretching and exercises such as joint manipulation, stretching, tapping and mobilization.

A typical visit to physical therapy will include an assessment and diagnosis of the issues based on the individual’s medical history. Next, the PT will set some recovery goals using a comprehensive treatment and prevention plan.

Similarities Between A Chiropractor And Physical Therapist

Here are a few similarities between physical therapists and chiropractors:

  • Both use exercises to improve range of motion and overall strength.
  • Both utilize nonsurgical techniques to help patients move and feel better.
  • Both need to pass a board or licensing examination before being able to practice.
  • Both PTs and chiropractors are trained at a doctoral level.
  • Both will use physical modalities to improve your physical health.

Differences Between A Chiropractor And Physical Therapist

The differences between chiropractors and physical therapists include the following:

  • PTs will work with you to prevent injury.
  • PTs can work in many settings like hospitals, schools and nursing homes. Chiropractors will only work in an outpatient clinic setting.
  • Chiropractors will offer nutrition advice and sell dietary supplements.
  • Chiropractors attempt to correct spinal misalignment.
  • PTs will prescribe home exercise programs for patients. 

Physical Therapy

What To Expect From A Chiropractor

Usually, patients will seek the services of a chiropractor due to back or neck issues. During your initial meeting with the chiropractor, you will be asked about pain, causes and symptoms. A chiropractic assessment will include checking your range of motion, strength and examination for possible spinal subluxations.

Once a chiropractor assesses your overall condition, a variety of treatments may be used. These treatments may include electrical stimulation, flexibility exercises, heat or ice and spinal/peripheral joint manipulations.

A visit to the chiropractor is recommended whenever you have an acute spinal problem that is impacting your movements. Some chiropractors can even treat acute joint injuries, such as hip or shoulder pain.

What To Expect From A Physical Therapist

A visit to the physical therapist will also begin with an initial evaluation. If you have had any surgeries recently, the PT may ask about your pre and post-operative course. Your detailed medical history, as well as your prior level of functioning will also be examined at this time.

A PT will then test your overall strength, range of motion, flexibility, functional mobility and balance. Once examined, the PT will come up with a rehab plan specifically for you. Most PT appointments will last between 30 and 60 minutes, with one to three visits per week.

So, when should you seek the services of a PT? If you are experiencing any pain while walking or sitting, it may be time to consider an assessment. It is possible to opt for a home PT who will visit you in the comfort of your own home if you are unable to travel.

How Much Does A Chiropractor Cost?

On average, chiropractor adjustments cost $65 per session for the US in 2022, with average prices of chiropractic care ranging from $30 to $200 per session. Your actual price depends on the chiropractor’s experience, location, and if you have insurance, according to CharlotteWelnessCenter. Most experienced offices will offer free chiropractic care consultations.  At our chiropractic clinic in Glendale, Arizona we provide affordable chiropractor services with and without insurance.

How Much Does A Physical Therapist Cost?

According to Thervo, an average cost of physical therapy ranges from $20 to $350 per session. Individuals without insurance can expect to pay $125 per session, while insured patients will pay $30 per session.


Both of these practices have been proven beneficial for patients. Many people do find that chiropractic care and physical therapy compliment one another very well. PT can help you strengthen your muscles with a mobilizing technique, yet can’t fix a bulging disc. At this point, you’ll need the care of a chiropractor. Ask for an assessment from a PT or chiropractor today to figure out which practice works best for you!


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