Difference Between a Chiropractor & Physical Therapist

The American Chiropractic Association always stresses the importance of musculoskeletal health. That is why chiropractors and physical therapists are always in high demand. But which healthcare professional should you see? Knowing the difference between a chiropractor and a physical therapist can help you make informed decisions on your treatments. Here are the details.


What a Chiropractor Does


The philosophy of this profession primarily focuses on the spine. The misalignment of the spine can result in pain and other symptoms. A chiropractor performs hands-on techniques when it comes to treatment. The main focus is to improve spinal joint movement via various types of spinal manipulation. Chiropractors allow your body to heal itself with their non-invasive treatments. They use natural methods of healing rather than surgeries and medications.


Chiropractors view a healthy spine as vital to your overall health. Chiropractic adjustments involve the manual manipulation of spinal joints. The aim is to mobilize your vertebrae so that your body can function better. Many people choose to see a Doctor of Chiropractic after an injury or accident. Others see chiropractic care as a form of long-term wellness or preventative care.


You should maintain regular care to get the results that you are seeking. Chiropractors most often treat back and neck complaints. However, many other symptoms are also treated through chiropractic care. A chiropractor may give advice on proper nutrition and helpful stretch and strengthening exercises. This healthcare professional can assist other parts of the musculoskeletal system as well. Chiropractors can help you improve your health through both treatment and advice.


What a Physical Therapist Does


You may know a physical therapist by two letters-PT. This healthcare professional focuses on improving your ability to move by reducing pain. Each session helps you get a better quality of life after surgery or an injury. The main goal of your therapy is for you to maximize your movements so that you can perform your daily activities.


A physical therapist will assess your injuries or symptoms. Then, the therapist will create a custom-fit treatment plan for your goals. This plan will include exercises and guided stretches. Health education is part of physical therapy. This can help you maintain a healthy and active life even after your sessions.


Regaining your range of motion is the main goal of physical therapists. Achieving this goal can improve your quality of life. A PT can work with your PCP or surgeon in managing your chronic health issues.  Your PT can help you prevent future injuries as well.




Chiropractic treatment affects joints, muscles and nerves. Most Doctors of Chiropractic also treat upper extremity joints such as shoulders, elbows and wrists. They also frequently treat lower extremity joints such as hips, knees, ankles and feet. Physical therapists focus on restoring pain-free range of motion. The PT targets how your body functions as one system.


At Atlantic Chiropractic Associates we help our patients with gentle spinal adjustments along with other available treatments. We have easily accessible offices located in Milford, Georgetown and Lewes, Delaware. To schedule an appointment to begin your journey towards better health, call us at 302 309-9900.

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