Over the years I have been asked on multiple occasions, do I see you, a physical therapist, or a chiropractor? It’s not an easy answer since each field comes with different areas of knowledge and practice.
Lets talk about the difference between these two fields in terms of education and knowledge of the body.
Physical Therapy and Schooling:
Today, admission to physical therapy (PT) school is highly competitive with an acceptance rate of 10-15%. In order to apply a student must earn a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field meeting pre-requisites to study physical therapy. This next level schooling is three additional years after completion of a Bachelor’s Degree.
During these three years, a physical therapist’s education consists of musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems along with research. A physical therapist earns an educational Doctorate (DPT) upon completion of PT school. After, they must take a board exam for licensing, which is maintained every two years with continuing education.
What does a Physical Therapist Understand?
From these seven years of schooling, physical therapists develop an innate understanding of:
Physical therapists perform manual therapy techniques on their patients. Meaning they have the ability to assess individual joint mechanics through hands on skills and correct mechanical dysfunction. They also address soft tissue and postural dysfunction muscular imbalance, and flexibility.
Chiropractors and Schooling:
Schooling for chiropractors is a bit different from physical therapists, and is something you should take into account when comparing the two fields.
Chiropractors must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and a state license. In order to complete this a student enrolls in a Doctor of Chiropractic program, which typically take four years to complete. A chiropractor is required to complete at least three years of undergraduate college education for admission.
What does a Chiropractor Understand?
During a chiropractor’s schooling and studies they learn about:
Chiropractors focus their work on the theory that “proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication.” Chiropractic treatment implements hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatments.
Chiropractors are often mistaken for medical doctors who specialize in the spine. This is not the case. Chiropractors treat patients through non surgical intervention for spinal dysfunctions.
Physiatrists are medical doctors (MD) who, in addition to medical school, also complete four additional years of postdoctoral residency training. During this residency training, they spend 1 year studying fundamental clinical skills and three specifically on physical medicine and rehabilitation. These physicians are experts in the management of non surgical spinal disorders.
Joy and Joyce are physical therapists who specialize in manual therapy; thus their evaluation and treatment approach is comprehensive with an emphasis on one-on-one hands on care. If you would like to make an appointment for a PT consultation call (704) 541-1191, or email email@example.com.
I have been a client at KCP Physical Therapy for 7 years. Before I was referred to them I dealt with neck and lower back/hip pain. I had tried some of the usual avenues without success. Within 6 months of receiving treatment I was 85% better than I had been in a long time. My next step was to begin a small amount of training. I progressed even more. Over time I have incorporated one hour training at least once a week and during some periods twice a week. When KCP added Yoga classes I was all in. I now go to yoga two times a week and one day for personal training. KCP provides a holistic approach to my well being. They know my physical constraints so they are able to build my workouts and yoga around them. I am 68 years old and have never felt better.
“Pain and Discomfort have always been my greatest teachers. It’s the scientific method. Why am I in pain? Where is the pain located? How do we treat the pain? How do we not repeat this process again? Ask the questions and follow the pain to the answers. In this case pain led me to “The Awesome Joyce Kight”,who treated me and taught me some priceless wisdom. Thank you, Joyce.”