Physical Therapy vs. Chiropractic
Both physical therapy and chiropractic are forms of "conservative care," which seek to treat or prevent pain through physical manipulation and other non-invasive treatment methods. They are both practiced by trained medical professionals who have secondary education and beyond.
Physical therapy is the treatment or prevention of pain, injury, or disability through conservative care methods such as exercise, stretching, massage, and heat. It is a medical intervention that is often undertaken in an attempt to avoid surgery or as a follow-up to certain surgeries.
Chiropractic is a method of preventing or remediating pain by adjusting bones in the spine and joints. It focuses on the bones of the spinal column and how they affect the nervous system. While chiropractic is well-known for treating back pain, it also can be used to treat headaches, nerve pain, and other ailments.
Practitioners of both physical therapy and chiropractic must complete higher education and obtain licensed credentials to practice. They are not medical doctors, however, and cannot prescribe medication. Patients undergoing chiropractic care are generally more passively receptive to treatment, whereas patients undergoing physical therapy are often actively engaged in movements and exercises.
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