What Distinguishes a Chiropractor From a Physiotherapist?

Stiffness, pain, or injury within your musculoskeletal system can be alarming. In this case, physical therapy and chiropractic treatment are your best options. But which is better between the two? This post analyses these two medical practices, looking at their similarities, differences, and application areas.

Physiotherapist vs Chiropractor: What Do They Mean? 

To understand the difference between physio and chiro, it is important that we first define these two terms. Physiotherapy is a therapeutic technique that focuses on impairment and disability in specific areas. Physiotherapists use techniques including exercise and physical manipulation to improve physical function and movement after an injury, surgery, or onset of a chronic condition. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, focuses on mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors use techniques including spinal manipulation, flexion, and massage to reduce pain and improve the function of the spinal system. 

The Difference Between a Physio and Chiropractor

One of the differences between physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment is the treatment technique used. While physiotherapy uses the mobilization technique, chiropractors use the manipulation technique. Physiotherapy mobilization is a high-speed rapid massaging movement, while chiropractic manipulation is a slow, gentle, and specific movement that is aimed at aligning joints and limbs in areas of restricted movement.

The other difference between chiropractors and physios is that while chiropractors are more hands-on, physiotherapists tend to be less hands-on, relying more on exercise-based approaches. While the chiropractor focuses more on the spine, the physiotherapist focuses more on muscle mobilization.

Chiropractor Versus Physiotherapist: What Do They Treat?

A physiotherapist will help you if you have limited movement due to:

  • Accident
  • Surgery
  • Injury 
  • Chronic health condition

Some of the conditions that may limit movement include:

  • Back pain
  • Ligament tears
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis elbow
  • Arthritis
  • Lower back pain
  • Spasms

 A chiropractor will be of help in the following instances:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Joint pain (like your knees, hips, elbow)
  • Tension headaches
  • Vertigo
  • Sciatica
  • TMJ disorders
  • Scoliosis

Which Is Better: Physiotherapy or Chiropractor?

Physiotherapy and chiropractic care are highly effective noninvasive treatment options that target different disorders. The main determinants of the treatment option to use are your health condition and your specific needs. Depending on your condition, at times, you may even use both of these treatment options. Both treatment options aim at improving the quality of life.

Bottom Line

Chiropractic treatment and physiotherapy are commonly used care options for pain management and treatment of conditions that limit movement. While physical therapy focuses on the body as a whole, chiropractic treatment focuses on specific areas of the musculoskeletal system. If you are looking for a chiropractor in Colorado Springs, contact Radix Chiropractic today for a consultation.