How is a Chiropractor Different from a Physical Therapist?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a chiropractor and a physical therapist? You’re not the only one. That’s actually a question that we get a lot, and one that we’re happy to answer.

Physical Therapists and Doctors of Chiropractic go through different educational programs, but they both have the goal of helping patients return to activity with less pain. They can both use modalities (ice, heat, ultrasound, electricity, mechanical traction, etc) as well as therapeutic exercise and manual therapy techniques to stretch, strengthen and restore neuromuscular balance. Once trained in either specialty, these healthcare providers can choose to specialize in a number of areas. Therapists who work with Georgia Spine & Orthopaedics have chosen to specialize in musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

Ultimately, we believe that our patients deserve the best care for their situation, so we respect all medical providers and value partnerships. Our Dr. Bendiks comes from a family of chiropractors and understands the great benefits that chiropractic care can offer to patients. Additionally, we have Atlanta’s best Physical Therapists on site at GSO for your convenience!

The question is not whether one profession is better than the other. The question is – what does YOUR body need to feel better and which individual provider connects with you the best? We will always partner with you to help you find the answer!

For a fuller explanation of the differences between physical therapists and chiropractors, don’t just take our word for it!

The American Physical Therapy Association defines physical therapists as “health care professionals who help individuals maintain, restore, and improve movement, activity, and functioning, thereby enabling optimal performance and enhancing health, well-being, and quality of life. Their services prevent, minimize, or eliminate impairments of body functions and structures, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.” In normal English, that means “physical therapists work to help you reach maximum mobility so that you can live your life with fewest physical restrictions possible.” Basically, in physical therapy there’s an emphasis on whole-body movement and function.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) says chiropractors focus “on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.” In other words, chiropractors are doctors who specialize in holistic healthcare via the neuro-musculoskeletal system which centers in the spine. According to ACA, chiropractors “practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.”

At Georgia Spine and Orthopaedics, we are passionate about wholeness, about helping you achieve the optimal level of healing possible as you seek recovery from your injury or the other factors affecting your health. We are committed to helping you find your best “after,” and we will partner with you and with other professionals as needed to find the path forward for you.

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