Difference Between Chiropractor and Physiotherapist

What is the difference between Chiropractor and Physiotherapist?

There have some similarities between physiotherapy and chiropractic care. Both help to treat and manage pain and stiffness in the body. Both are done by professionals trained for years in the sciences with their licenses. The main difference between a physiotherapist and a chiropractor is that a chiropractor usually uses manipulation, whereas a physiotherapist will use mobilization techniques more often.

When you have any muscle or bone pain, it can be hard to guess what type of treatment you should take. To know the right treatment, you should know the difference between chiropractic and physiotherapy and which will work best for you. This content will discuss the difference between a Chiropractor and a Physiotherapist!

What are the difference between Chiropractor and Physiotherapist

What is the difference between Chiropractor and Physiotherapist?

In general, there are a lot of similarities between the two tasks. For example, chiropractors and physiotherapists treat problems with joints, muscles, and bones to help you move better, get stronger, feel less pain, and get back to full function.

But the main difference between the two fields is that chiropractors use manipulation, while physiotherapists typically use techniques that move the body (mobilization).

Chiropractor: Manipulation

difference between Chiropractor and Physiotherapist

The Ontario Chiropractic Association says that:

“Chiropractic care is work based on noninvasive scientific evidence and is done by hand. It focuses on the musculoskeletal system.”

Chiropractors use their hands to move your spine and limb joints that aren’t moving as well as they should. Gentle and specific techniques help to get the body moving normally again. Chiropractic treatment aims to help you move more efficiently and better.

Chiropractic may help if you have…

  • Neck Pain
  • Back pain
  • Strains or sprains
  • Headache
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Work and sports injuries

Physiotherapist: Mobilization

difference between Chiropractor and Physiotherapist

The College of Physiotherapists says that:

“A physiotherapist is a movement science expert who can determine what caused an injury.”

Physiotherapists work to prevent injuries, help people recover from them, and keep their bodies healthy. For example, they asses people’s problem and help people get back on their feet after something terrible happens. They can suggest physiotherapeutic exercises to the person’s that are right for their condition. A physiotherapist will use various techniques, such as massage, manipulation, electrical therapies, and exercise, to help the body heal and move again.

Physiotherapy may help if you have…

  • Ligament sprains, muscle strains, and broken/fractured bones.
  • Back and neck pain; that lasts for a long time.
  • Dysfunction is caused by the removal (amputation) of an upper or lower limb.
  • Problems with the lungs or breathing caused by asthma, COPD, or emphysema.
  • Heart problems or heart attacks that cause disability.
  • Pelvic problems, such as problems with the bladder or bowels after giving birth.
  • Spinal cord injury, Traumatic brain injury, Cerebral Palsy, peripheral nerve injury, Parkinson’s Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, and other neurological disorders.
  • Fatigue, pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of muscle strength, such as when someone is being treated for cancer or receiving palliative care.

Main Difference between Chiropractor and Physiotherapist

Their Main difference is how they look at the complaint and deal with it. For example:

Chiropractors diagnose, treat, and prevent problems with the body’s muscles, bones, and joints.Physiotherapists help people move and use their bodies better, usually after an injury or surgery.
The main goals are to get rid of pain and straighten the spine.One of the main goals is to be able to move without pain.
Chiropractors use manipulations and adjustments to assist your body in healing itself.Physiotherapists help you do exercises and stretches; in some cases, they may also do manipulations to help you move better.
To execute adjustments and manipulations, chiropractors typically require specialized spaces and equipment.Physiotherapists can work in almost any healthcare setting, including your own home.

What are the Similarities between Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Treatment?

Physiotherapists and chiropractors have similar aims for their patients but approach these goals differently. Among the similarities they have are the following:

  • Both aim to alleviate pain and discomfort through noninvasive and nonsurgical methods.
  • Both may use to treat specific conditions, and either manual or hands-on therapy may be used.
  • Both may be used to treat or co-treat the same conditions.
  • Both may concentrate on wellness goals for their patients that go beyond what they can do in a session.
  • Both analyze your symptoms by collecting a medical history, examining you, and maybe ordering tests.
  • Physical therapists and chiropractors are qualified health professionals who have extensive study and training.

Which therapy should you choose?

If your back or joints feel locked, stiff, or sore, or if other treatments haven’t worked, a consultation with a chiropractor is recommended.

Physiotherapists are more typically used to address soft tissue disorders and joint and muscle problems that restrict movement and cause pain.

Depending on your situation, you may combine physiotherapy with chiropractic care to help reduce pain and enhance your quality of life.

When deciding on the type of therapy you require, it is essential to consult with your doctor. Your doctor can advise you and explain how a specific therapy may help alleviate your problems.



"Hasan" is a physiotherapy student. He is completed his B.S.c course (4 years) under Rajshahi University, Faculty of Medicine, Rajshahi. Currently He is continuing his internship program at Rajshahi Medical College, Rajshahi, Bangladesh.

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