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What is the Difference Between Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care?

Posted by Renew Physical Therapy Portland on Thursday, April 18, 2019

There are over 67 million web pages trying to answer the question, “What is the difference between Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care?” Most of these pages have long lists comparing philosophy, education, treatment techniques, certification, etc. We will touch on some of those as well, but as a layperson, you may want to know in broad strokes what the differences are.

What’s the Difference?

Physical therapists and chiropractors treat similar conditions. In some cases, they even co-treat many of the same conditions. While chiropractors can treat pain and joints, they are primarily focused on the alignment of the spine and nervous system. A physical therapist has a broader philosophy in improving mobility and function. This includes helping with pain reduction in joints and muscles. Like chiropractors, they also have a foundation of knowledge that extends into general medicine.

Chiropractors and Spinal Manipulation

Chiropractors primarily focus on the spine and the alignment of vertebrae of the spine. When these vertebrae become misaligned, it is called subluxation. Chiropractors suggest that subluxation of the spinal column can affect nervous system function and cause pain, discomfort and even disease.

Physical Therapists and Mobility

A physical therapist evaluates, diagnoses, and provides treatment to restore movement. Physical therapy also restores functions like strength, range of motion, and balance. Physical therapists also have a foundation of knowledge that extends into spinal manipulation. Physical therapists are experts when it comes to human movement and restoration of all movement-related processes. At Renew Physical Therapy, our treatments are one-on-one, hands-on, pain-free, and focused on the root cause of each patient’s symptoms.

How Do I Choose?

You can always check with your general practitioner for a recommendation. Although both Chiropractors and Physical Therapists are specialists in diagnosing and treating their patients, they do have some differences in their areas of practice. Again, a chiropractor is going to be focused on the spine and spine manipulation, while a physical therapist is an expert in restoring movement and mobility.

Renew Physical Therapy is located in Portland

Renew Physical Therapy is an independent manual physical therapy clinic that was established in December 2015 by Michael and Heidi Cantwell. Our facility features three private treatment rooms and an open gym area to treat all our patients’ needs. You can find us on Southeast Division Street in Portland, Oregon.

Visit our About Us page to learn more about our practice, clinic, and staff. Call us at 503.928.4914 to schedule an appointment.

Renew Your Body, Reclaim Your Life!


Categories: Chronic Pain, Mobility, Physical Therapist, Physical Therapy, Spinal Manipulation, Subluxation, Therapeutic Modalities