Physical Therapist or Chiropractor at Chiropractic and Wellness Center: Who to Pick To Heal Your Physical Ailment?

A common offering nowadays at a chiropractic and wellness center is physical therapy. It is understandable, as both chiropractic care and physical therapy are vital to the well-being of a person.

But did you know that there are key differences between the two disciplines? As much as both are mistaken for one another, you have to call to mind that each undergo different pathways, which should serve as the gist for our understanding of both.
So as not to be confused with each other, let us discuss what sets apart a chiropractor from a physical therapist.

physical therapy


Chiropractors earn a Doctorate in Chiropractic, taking anywhere from 6-8 years. After up to four years of undergraduate school, you would then go through another four years of chiropractic school, then obtain a one year residency from a hospital or a center, and then pass the national exams for the doctorate.

Physical therapists, on the other hand, earn a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, which takes seven years to complete – four for the undergraduate studies, three for physical therapy school. They then go on to pass a physical therapy exam for certification.


Chiropractors specialize in the adjustment of the spine. This inlcudes moving the soft tissue and adjusting the joints. As they both know the muscular and skeletal systems, they usually base their therapeutic programs around these in treating their patients. In addition, they put out evidence-based claims for their healing procedures.

Chiropractors specialize in a range of areas for their diagnoses, which include:

  • Orthopedics – surgery involved in the musculoskeletal system
  • Pediatrics – branch of medicine involving infants up to adolescents
  • Nutrition – science on the interaction of nutrients to the growth functions of an organism
  • Radiology – science of medical imaging for diagnosis of body diseases
  • Forensic Science – scientific methods to investigate civil and criminal case

Physical therapists, meanwhile, are more focused on restoring all movement-related processes. Their main area of specialization is from manual therapy, joint mobilizing, muscle coordination, and cardiovascular monitoring, among others.

Physical therapists derive their treatment processes from some sciences used by chiropractics, as well as the following:

  • Clinical Electrophysiology – adoption of the electrical properties of biological tissues to medicine
  • Neurology – medicine branch discussing nervous system disorders
  • Sports Medicine – medicine branch on the prevention of injuries that arise from sports or exercise
  • Geriatrics – medicine branch centered on healthcare of the elderly


  • Chiropractic therapists base their decisions on the musculoskeletal system and nervous system’s conditions, particularly in the adjustment of one’s spine. Some recommendations they make usually entail exercises for rehabilitation, as well as nutritive and lifestyle healing. In some states, they can be called upon to do minor surgery.
  • Physical therapists, on the other hand, focus their treatment on restoring movement and function of areas of the body. They also promote fitness through preventative care. Unlike chiropractors, physical therapists do not perform surgery.

Who Among Them Do You Choose?

Chiropractors and physical therapists, while having different methods for addressing body pain, ultimately heal the pain of individuals. If you need information on who of these two specialists are appropriate for you, you may consult with a wellness center, and they will refer you the appropriate expert for your condition.

Once you find the right chiropractic and physical therapy in West Palm Beach, you’re one step closer to alleviating physical pain with the help of expert care.

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