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Chiropractor vs. Physical Therapist: Differences and Specifications
Chiropractor vs. Physical Therapist: Differences and Specifications
March 30/2023

Chiropractor vs. Physical Therapist: Differences and Specifications

Are you experiencing back pain, neck pain, or joint discomfort and considering seeing a specialist? You might be wondering whether you should visit a chiropractor or a physical therapist. Both chiropractors and physical therapists work with patients to alleviate pain and improve mobility, but they have different approaches and specialties. In this quick-read article brought to you by Southern Maryland Medical Group, we look at the similarities and differences between chiropractors and physical therapists. If you are looking for a primary care physician or physical therapist in the Southern Maryland area, feel free to call Southern Maryland Medical Group to schedule an appointment.

What Chiropractors and Physical Therapists Have in Common

Chiropractors and physical therapists share some similarities in their approach to healthcare. Both professionals focus on treating pain and mobility issues related to the body's bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They also both use hands-on techniques and devices to diagnose and treat patients, and they may collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for their patients.

Despite these similarities, chiropractors and physical therapists have distinct approaches and specialties, which should be considered when choosing the right healthcare provider for your needs.

The Differences Between Chiropractors and Physical Therapists

Chiropractors and physical therapists have some significant differences to consider. By considering these differences, patients can make an informed decision about which type of treatment will best suit their needs.

Chiropractors specialize in spinal adjustments and manipulations aimed to correct misalignments in the spine that can cause pain and other symptoms. To identify these misalignments, chiropractors may use X-rays and other diagnostic tools.

On the other hand, physical therapists focus on movement and function, aiming to restore mobility, strength, and flexibility through exercises, stretches, and other techniques. They may also use heat, ice, and electrical stimulation to reduce pain and inflammation.

Important Factors to Consider When Choosing Between the Two

Physical therapy is based on scientific research and proven techniques, and physical therapists must complete rigorous education and training programs to become licensed. In contrast, chiropractic care is often based on outdated or unproven theories and lacks standardization in education and practice.

Secondly, physical therapy takes a holistic approach to treating pain and mobility issues, considering factors such as lifestyle, habits, and emotional well-being. In doing so, physical therapists can address underlying issues that may contribute to the problems, and they can develop individualized treatment plans tailored to each patient's needs and goals. Meanwhile, chiropractic care may focus solely on spinal adjustments without addressing other contributing factors. This one-size-fits-all approach may not address unique patient needs.

Finally, physical therapy is typically covered by health insurance, while chiropractic care may not be or may have limited coverage. This means that patients can access physical therapy without worrying about the financial burden of paying everything out of pocket.

Schedule an Appointment with a Physical Therapist

Whether you are looking for primary care doctors or specialized healthcare providers, like a physical therapist, you can call Southern Maryland Medical Group to schedule a convenient appointment. Courteous and knowledgeable members of our team are on standby to take your call today.

Our Locations

Southern Maryland Medical Group has 3 convenient locations to provide professional medical care services in the Southern Maryland area. Call or schedule an appointment with one of our locations to get medical care help. 

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Camp Springs, MD

5801 Allentown Road, Suite 400 Camp Spring, MD 20746

Phone: 301-868- 0150

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-868-0243

Greenbelt, MD

7500 Greenway Center, Dr #1200 Greenbelt, MD 20770

Phone: 301-486-7580

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-486-7581

Riverdale, MD

6510 Kenilworth Ave, Ste 1400, Riverdale MD 20737

Phone: 301-618-0771

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-618-0772