Chiropractic vs Physical Therapy


What is chiropractic? Chiropractic is nothing but a form of alternative medicine which aids in treating disorders of the spine and other areas of the musculoskeletal system such as muscles, ligaments, soft tissues and joints.

Now, let's dig a little deeper to discover the root of chiropractic, although it's origins are so knee deep in history that it is practically impossible to trace back exactly when it all began but the practice of manipulation is quite intuitive if you think about it because to massage and manip­ulate an aching muscle or a limb is a natural tendency. The only step that separates this from chiropractic is adding pressure by rubbing an aching joint followed by a popping noise along with some degree of relief as the reward. The first episodes of spinal manipulation certainly occurred well before the first known recordings of its use, vaguely, can be traced back to the ancient Chinese Lumbar Manipulation.

Methods of Evaluation

Now that we're done with the boring history part, let's find out exactly how a chiropractic evaluates a patient. The evaluation is achieved by using a number of techniques like:

  • Palpation

    Palpation is the technique used by chiropractors to detect certain characteristics of the body by using the sense of touch as a tool for assessment. Chiropractics are experienced in finding anomalies like tenderness using this method which can act as the foundation for other follow-up tests.

  • Diagnostic Assessment

    Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to determine the spinal segments which need a chiropractic adjustment, after the physical adjustment additional diagnostic tests like X-rays may be done.

Benefits of Chiropractic

Integrating chiropractic adjustments into your lifestyle will give you a wide variety of benefits like:

  • Going Medicine Free

    Most modern medicine practitioners tend to resort to pills for tackling any kind of problem their patients face however in chiropractic treatment there is absolutely no use of medicines and in case you're already seeing a doctor for your pain then chiropractic care will complement the treatment helping you get better faster.

  • Eliminating The Core Problem

    Chiropractic, unlike modern medicine, works on fixing the source of your pain rather than suppressing the symptoms. This is achieved through spinal manipulation as our nerves are connected through the spine, so having a healthy spine automatically translates to having a pain-free life.

  • Low Risk - High Reward

    Have you ever suffered from medication-induced allergies or side-effects before? If yes, then don't be afraid because in chiropractic treatment the chances of getting an allergy are second to none as no medication is required and only physical manipulations along with some ice therapy get the job done. Also, the most adverse side-effect chiropractic care can cause is soreness in the affected area.

  • Preventing Joint Dysfunction

    Most people think that chiropractors are "back doctors" and can only help with back pain however if you're having trouble with your joints then a chiropractor can do wonders for you because generally, all discomforts in the joint area originate from the spine.

  • Easing Cancer Patients

    Cancer, without a doubt, is one of the worst kind of diseases any human can come in contact with. Cancer patients go through a lot of pain as the treatment breeds severe stress on the body's musculoskeletal system which can cause the willpower of the patient to dwindle. This is where chiropractic treatment comes into action as it can help the patient stay strong by providing relief from pain.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists, also known as physiotherapists, on the other hand, help people restore and maintain movement and functional ability, this includes people who have chronic pain, recovering from a surgery/stroke, sportsmen who want to recover from a sports injury or prevent one (like tennis elbow).

Physical therapy can be traced as far back as the ancient Greeks, it emphasizes the healing properties of the sun’s warmth and the value of exercise for producing sound minds in sound bodies.

Benefits of Physiotherapy

You should seriously consider physical therapy if you're able to relate to any one of the following points:

  • Preventing Sports Injuries

    If you're a sportsperson then physical therapy can help prevent serious sports injuries preemptively. Physical therapists have a sound understanding of how a sport can increase the risk of a specific type of sports injury like golfer's elbow for golf players and stress fractures for marathon runners. Hence, they can create a prevention regimen for you to ensure safety in your sport.

  • Helping Cardiac Patients

    If you've recently recovered from a cardiac rehabilitation, you may require physiotherapy if you feel that you're not functioning as effectively as you used to. Physical therapy can improve the quality of life, especially for pulmonary problems. This can be achieved through conditioning and breathing exercises which help clear fluids in the lungs.

  • Recovering From Strokes

    Strokes cause impairment in movement and function of some parts of the body depending upon the type of stroke. Physical therapy can help restore weakened parts of the body which in turn improves the patient's mobility and accelerates recovery.

  • Eliminating Pain

    Physical therapy can work wonders when it comes to reducing or eliminating pain. Using a combination of curative exercises and treatments like ultrasound and electrical stimulation with joint and soft tissue mobilization can help relieve pain and restore muscle/joint function.

  • Managing Women's Health

    Most physical therapists offer specialized management of issues related to women's health like pregnancy and post-partum care.

  • Dealing With Age-Related Issues

    Physical therapists can also help people recover from age-related diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis. A physiotherapist can build a progressive diet and exercise plan for recovering from such diseases.


So should you go with chiropractic or physical therapy? If your wallet allows then you should probably go for both as both practices can complement each other to provide you with the best possible results.