Chiropractor vs. Physical Therapist
At the time of any injury, pain, and discomfort in the joints, muscles, or musculoskeletal region, your doctor might refer you to a chiropractor or a physical therapist. Both chiropractors and physical therapists aid in relaxing the muscles and joints through various exercises, massages, manipulations, and adjustments. So, what is the difference between the two, and whom to approach in a specific physical situation? This is a question that constantly ponders in everyone’s mind. This blog has explained the difference between the two and the particular situations in which the patient’s visit to them will prove beneficial.
The chiropractors use manual or electric stimulation to help relieve pain and discomfort and restore the alignment of the spine or backbone. Contrary to this, physical therapists aim to induce pain-free movement for the patient, including his joints and muscles.
The main focus of chiropractors is on the issues like pain, discomfort, and decreased range of motion the areas like the neck, shoulder, and knee joints, back pain, discomfort associated with the jaw joint, migraines, and headaches, including tension and cluster headache. On the other hand, physical therapists’ primary focus is on the body’s overall movement and function and proper alignment.
The treatment modality used by chiropractors includes manual or electric manipulations and adjustments to restore the body’s overall movement and increase the range of motion of different joints. At the same time, physical therapists promote specific exercises and stretching of the body to improve the joints’ mobility and the signs and symptoms of swelling, pain, and discomfort in the muscles and joints.
Chiropractors require a specialized set of equipment and working place to perform their job, whereas physical therapists need any healthcare facility to provide their best services. Physical therapists can also offer their services in the comfort of your home.
Treatment Approach of Chiropractors vs. Physical Therapists
A chiropractor mainly aids in spinal adjustments and increases the range of motion of joints by relieving muscular stress and discomfort. For this, they need to know the proper medical history of the patient and the evaluation of physical examinations that include radiographic scans, specific blood investigations, and other tests per the patient’s requirement. The chiropractors assess the posture of the patient, including their spinal alignment.
Chiropractors help improve the complaints associated with soft tissues and promote healing by reducing pain, discomfort, and muscular soreness. Chiropractors help reduce nerve pressure by using spinal traction and electric nerve stimulation. Chiropractic professionals also help maintain a particular lifestyle with nutritional improvements and supplements.
On the contrary, physical therapists develop a rehabilitation program specially planned for each patient according to the patient’s requirements. The various active and passive exercises and stretches are designed to improve the range of motion and increase flexibility, strength, and the overall movement of the joints. They include joint mobilization techniques, hot and cold fomentations, therapeutic ultrasounds, and massage therapy to improve the range of motion of joints and other body parts. Kinesiology taping aids in improving muscular function by reducing pain and discomfort. Light therapy helps in the early healing of any wound and improves the symptoms of chronic or long-term pain situations.
In both modalities, be it in chiropractic care or physical therapy, invasive therapies like surgery or mass usage of medications are not involved. In a broader sense, chiropractors help patients relieve their pain symptoms through spinal manipulation, while physical therapists use various stretching techniques and exercises to improve the symptoms of pain and discomfort.
How to become a Chiropractor?
A professional degree course after undergraduate training is required to become a licensed chiropractic professional. A four-part test has to be qualified for NBCE licensure, which ensures a professional competency of the candidate in almost all 50 states across the United States.
Chiropractic school provides a 3-year degree program, which provides a degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) to all those who pass through the program. A rigorous license exam specific to each state has to be given after the degree program to start your practice as a chiropractic professional.
How to become a Physical Therapist?
A doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is provided to the candidates who passed a graduating program from the special physical therapy schools. A full-time three-year degree program is mainly associated with physical therapy degree programs. The clinical rotations to learn more about acute or chronic orthopedic conditions help physical therapists to learn more about the human body and its various ailments associated with bone, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. After passing the licensing exam, the candidates can apply for a residency or fellowship program for advanced training in any particular specialization.
Whom should I visit at the time of need?
Chiropractic care and physical therapy are non-invasive techniques that help you relieve pain, discomfort, and muscular soreness. Chiropractors aid in spinal manipulation and improve the patient’s overall posture, while physical therapists help improve the symptoms associated with muscle soreness and inflammation.
Hence, depending on your symptoms and expert consultation, you can know which professional you have to visit to achieve the most benefit.