Should I See a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist?

Physical Therapist

Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care. Chronic pain impacts about 50 million US adults. High impact pain impacts another 20 million people.

Without treatment, you could notice restrictions in your mobility and daily activities. You might develop depression, anxiety, or dependence on painkillers. Meanwhile, your quality of life could decline, too.

You don’t have to live life in pain, though. Instead, consider visiting a chiropractor or physical therapist.

A customized treatment plan could put an end to your chronic pain.

Should you see a chiropractor or physical therapist instead? Not sure which to choose?

Here’s everything you need to know before making your decision. Understanding the difference between the two will ensure you begin treatment right away.

Put an end to your chronic pain. Read on to learn more today!

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Before making your decision between visiting a chiropractor or physical therapist, it helps to look at each professional separately.

Physical therapists (PTs) focus on improving your mobility and function. Living life without pain can improve your overall quality of life. Their primary goal is to help you achieve the highest level of function possible.

Your PT will help you discover new ways to remain active and healthy. They might provide you with a list of exercises and stretches you can use.

Treatment can involve:

  • Posture education
  • Instruction for moving to avoid injuries
  • Evaluating your flexibility, movement, and pain
  • Stretches, exercises, and hands-on manipulation
  • Hot or cold therapy to reduce pain

Your physical therapist will also develop a customized wellness plan designed to help you improve your condition.


When To Visit

Not sure when to see a physical therapist? Consider scheduling an appointment if you have limited movement due to:

  • Injury
  • Surgery
  • Accidents
  • Health conditions

You might want to see a PT if you experience pain when you move. You can also consult a physical therapist to improve your ability to move without pain.

PTs can also help patients dealing with health conditions like:

  • COPD
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis

They can improve your strength to help you move comfortably.

You can find physical therapists at athletic facilities, outpatient offices, and clinics, or a hospital. They also work at rehabilitation centers.

What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Now that you know more about physical therapists, let’s talk about chiropractors.

Chiropractors treat over 35 million Americans every year. One million chiropractic adjustments are performed each day.

Chiropractic techniques are 40% more effective than medical care for treating lower back pain.

You can visit Unify Chiropractic to schedule your first consultation appointment.

Chiropractors are licensed professionals. They have doctorate degrees, which they use to ease inflammation and pain. A chiropractor can ease your pain by manipulating parts of your body using a hands-on approach.

Chiropractic care could help your body heal itself.

Both physical therapy and chiropractic care allow you to avoid surgery and addictive medications. You might consider visiting a chiropractor if you want to avoid invasive treatment options.

Chiropractic care is ideal for people who have a range of health conditions. Treatments focus on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.

Your chiropractor will first use a physical exam and imaging tests to evaluate your symptoms. They can adjust parts of your body using spinal manipulation. Hands-on treatment could ease your inflammation, treating your pain at the root cause.

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They might discuss other forms of treatment, too. For example, they can recommend changes to your work environment. Ergonomic changes could minimize your pain.

They might also recommend lifestyle adjustments or exercises you can use at home.

When To Visit

Not sure when to see a chiropractor?

Schedule an appointment with a chiropractor if you’re experiencing:

  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain

Regular treatments will help ease your inflammation and pain. Adjustments could improve your overall quality of life as a result.


There are a few key similarities between chiropractic care and physical therapy you might want to keep in mind. First, both have similar goals for their patients. It’s how they accomplish those goals that differ.

A chiropractor or physical therapist will help you manage your pain and discomfort. Either one might suggest noninvasive or nonsurgical treatments. Both use manual or hands-on therapy during treatment, too.

Both specialists treat the same conditions as well.

When comparing a chiropractor vs physical therapist, know both will help you develop a customized wellness plan. You can use your treatment plan outside of your appointments, too. For example, you can complete certain stretches while at home to manage your pain.

Both professionals will evaluate your symptoms before developing your treatment plan. They’ll consider your health history and complete a physical examination.

They might offer tests to determine the core cause of your pain, too.

If you’re on the fence about choosing between a chiropractor vs physical therapist, know both are licensed, health professionals. Both career paths require years of education and training.

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You’ll have peace of mind knowing a qualified, licensed professional is there to help you manage your pain.

Making the Choice

How do you choose whether to visit a chiropractor or physical therapist?

The form of treatment you need can vary based on your condition. You might want to consider both.

For example, you can utilize both chiropractic care and physical therapy if you’re experiencing chronic pain. Easing your pain could improve your quality of life.

Consider consulting your primary care physician to determine which form of treatment will best suit your needs. They’ll help you determine which therapy will ease your symptoms.

You can use both to avoid invasive treatment options like surgery. Remember, you can avoid developing an addiction to pain medications, too. Instead, you can utilize both forms of hands-on therapy to treat your pain.

Ease the Pain: Know Whether to Visit a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist

To recap, should you visit a chiropractor or physical therapist? Ultimately, the choice is yours. Consider visiting both specialists to ease your pain and improve your quality of life.

With their help, you can develop a customized treatment plan to ease your symptoms.

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