Chiropractor vs. Physical Therapist: Which One Is Right for You?

If you are in pain, you may wonder which type of health professional you should see: a chiropractor or physical therapist. Both have unique skills and can help alleviate your pain, but they offer different approaches.

A chiropractor will use specific spinal adjustments to realign your spinal vertebrae. You may need to visit them two to three times a week initially and then once a week for maintenance.


Physical therapists will use therapeutic exercises to strengthen the muscles around your affected area and reduce your pain.

When deciding between a chiropractor and a physical therapist, it is essential to consider many factors. Here are some of them:

1. The Type and Severity of Your Pain

Accidents, injuries, and everyday wear and tear can cause pain in various body parts. The type and severity of your pain will determine whether chiropractic or physical therapy is right for you. Suppose your pain or condition is related to general posture or an issue with the skeletal system, a chiropractor can help you find relief and get to the root cause.  If you have joint or muscular injuries in your extremities due to overexertion or repetitive motion, physical therapy is likely the best option because it focuses on helping heal soft tissue injuries.

2. The Nature of the Underlying Cause

A mechanical joint, bone, or muscle problem may cause chronic pain. In these cases, Chiropractic care is used to manage this type of underlying cause. It focuses on adjusting the spine and other joints to correct alignment problems that are causing the pain. Physical therapy on the other hand involves stretching and strengthening exercises to improve mobility and reduce pain.

In other cases, the underlying cause is not related to mechanical problems but neurological issues, such as a pinched nerve or an injury affecting muscle control. In these cases, chiropractic care would be ideal in correcting joint alignment, while physical therapy focuses on improving muscle coordination and re-teaching proper movement patterns.

3. Your Overall Health, Lifestyle, and Goals for Recovery

A chiropractor and physical therapist may benefit your overall health and recovery. Still, your lifestyle and specific goals may help determine which is the best choice for you. Generally speaking, a chiropractor’s approach focuses on correcting spinal misalignments using manual adjustment techniques to improve alignment, reduce nerve interference, and restore normal functioning of the spine. A physical therapist focuses more on passive treatments such as electrical stimulation, heat and cold therapy, and therapeutic exercise to help improve muscle function, strength, and flexibility. Ultimately, both practitioners aim to help improve a patient’s overall health by reducing pain and restoring normal functioning.

4. What Type of Insurance Coverage Do You Have for Either Option 

An insurance policy can determine the type of care you receive. Our Doctors at Radix Chiropractic offer services covered by insurance, but physical therapists may require a different policy. Depending on your health insurance provider, it may be possible to access chiropractic care with the same plan you use for physical therapy.

Call Radix Chiropractic for the best chiropractor in Colorado Springs . We offer a wide range of treatments to relieve your pain and get you back to feeling healthy. Our chiropractors use specific manual adjustments of the musculoskeletal structure, focusing primarily on the spine, to help relieve pain and improve function.