Chiropractor vs Physical Therapist (Complete Difference)

Whenever you suffer from any kind of pain, the first thing you should do is to decide which doctor you should visit your problem to get your problem solved. You should know the difference between Chiropractor vs Physical Therapy so that you can make a decision.

Physical Therapist vs Chiropractor has 3 differences which are

  • Treatment philosophy
  • The education
  • The clinical expertise

Treatment Philosophy

Treatment Philosophy

Chiropractor or physical therapist, both takes a different approach when it comes to treating the patients who are suffering from pain.


When it comes to Chiropractor, he focuses on the conditions which are related to musculoskeletal system and the nervous system and all of the effects that are caused because of these conditions.

Chiropractic care is a method which helps to relieve the body pains which include neck pain, headaches, back pain and all the other pains such as arms, legs and joints. Chiropractors are the specialists who use hands-on approach to treat their patients. This includes the examination of the patient, diagnosis and the treatment of the problem.

The skills that they use for the diagnosis of the problem are extensive and the rehabilitative and therapeutic exercises are recommended by them to their patients for the treatment. They also provide dietary, nutritional and the lifestyle counseling to their patients.

For the alleviation of the patient’s pain, a technique known as Spinal Manipulation is used by the Chiropractors.

The main purpose of this method is to restore the mobility in the areas which have tissue damage. This helps to decrease the pain and the tightness of the muscles which further helps in healing of the muscles. However, some people might still feel some issues like hurting of back even more after chiropractor visit and get curious why does it happen?

Physical therapist

Physical therapists take a different approach. They evaluate the problem, diagnose it and then they provide a proper treatment for the restoration of the movement as well as the functioning of muscles by proving strength, motion and balance to them.

Further, they gather knowledge and then develop it into a program of individual rehabilitation from the conditions that are caused by the factors like the injury, aging, disease or even the environmental factors.

They also take part in the promotion of the wellness, health and also fitness through the preventative care and the identification of the risk factors.

The techniques used by them are actually pretty different from the Chiropractors. They use their own expertise for the rehabilitate and pain relieve of the patients.



If you want to get a license of Chiropractor or Physical therapist, then you will have to complete a long process of education.


If you want to become Chiropractor, then you will have to earn doctorate in the Chiropractic. This can take 6 to 8 years approximately. Here you will have to give 5200 hours which are instructional and around 3 to 4 years in which you will do undergraduate schooling. Once you are done with undergrad, you will have to do 2 to 4 years of the schooling in Chiropractic school. Then you will have to go for 1 year residency and after that pass these state as well as national board exams.

Physical therapist 

If you want to become a physical therapist then you will have to earn a doctorate of the physical therapy. This is a 7 year long program. Hear it includes around 3500 hours which are instructional and to become undergrad you will have to give four years. Further you will have to give three years in the school of physical therapy. Once you are done with the seven year program then you will have to do an internship for 30 weeks and after that you will have to pass the national exam for physical therapy.

Clinical Expertise

Clinical Expertise

The work that both Chiropractors and physical therapist do produce are similar, but the area of practice is different for both of them.


They are expert in manipulation as well as adjustment of spines. Joint adjustment and the soft tissue mobilization are both included in it. They use their knowledge for the development of therapeutic modalities and the exercises which help in the treatment of the in pain for patients.

The areas in which they have specialization are the pediatrics, orthopedics, general rehab, neurology, internal disorders, occupational health, nutrition, sports medicine, radiology and also the forensic Sciences.

It might make you curious how a chiropractor can get you back in game?

Physical Therapists

When it comes to Physical therapists they are experts when restoring all the processes which are related to movement of body parts. They also have a strong foundation of the knowledge in both general medicine as well as Chiropractic care.

They are experts when it comes to soft tissue and joints mobilization, manual therapy, neurological rehabilitation, muscle coordination, sports performance and also the cardiovascular rehabilitation.

The treatment processes that the use includes the sports medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, neurology, geriatrics, Cardiovascular, pulmonary as well as the clinical electrophysiology.

All in All

If you are in a condition in which you feel pain from deterioration or the injury, both the Physical Therapists and Chiropractors will be beneficial for you and help you recover. Both of them use techniques which are slightly different from each other, but the goal that chiropractic vs physical therapy have is similar.

They both want to give her treatment to their patients who suits best for them and help them living a better life.

So this was the complete article on physical therapy vs chiropractor and i hope i was able to tell you the difference between chiropractor and physical therapist.