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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am an active “senior” with a passion to remain active (running, softball, golf, etc)…During the last 3 years I have encountered muscle/soft tissue issues that made staying active difficult. I went to a Sports Medicine M.D who prescribed steroid shots and anti-inflammatory meds which helped but did not correct my problem. I finally sought help from Joyce Kight at KCP. Joyce was able to quickly assess my needs and developed therapy programs to quickly resolve my injuries. In my most recent visit, Joyce found a mis-alignment of my pelvis and corrected the alignment on the first visit. Instead of reducing my activities I have been able to set new goals, including an upcoming marathon with my son . Thanks to Joyce and her excellent staff for getting me back on track quickly and providing me with the treatment and guidance I needed to remain active and healthy.
I have suffered from migraines since I was 5 yrs old and have been to everyone from neurologists to a hypnotist for help. Joy has been my savior! My migraines have significantly improved since seeing Joy. Not only are my migraines less frequent, but after being worked on by Joy I just feel better overall. Everyone at the office is so incredibly nice, and super accommodating to the fact that I have to bring my 3 young children with me; to the point where my girls get so excited on PT days. Thank you so much KCP, we love you!