Chiropractic or Physical Therapy

Many people ask me if they should go seek care through Chiropractic or Physical Therapy. Deciding on Chiropractic or Physical Therapy can be very confusing. How do you know which one to pursue? If your neck hurts should you seek Chiropractic or Physical Therapy. I will attempt to clarify this as much as possible.

Let’s start the debate. Is Chiropractic or Physical Therapy right for you?


Physical therapy is great for rehabbing post-surgery. If you have a replacement, physical therapy is normally your best option. Hip replacements work very well. It is a remarkable surgery that normally gets great success. Most people have to rehab following surgery. Physical therapy does a great job for this. The Therapist will help you recover. They may do gait training. Sleeping training can be performed. They may show you exercises to perform. The same is true following knee or shoulder replacements. Both of these complicated surgeries tend to achieve good to great results. Scar tissue tends to form following this procedure. Physical therapists will help you break down the scar tissue. Breaking down the scar tissue is important. It will assist in proper range of motion. It will help stabilize long term results.


Physical therapy is also remarkable for stroke patients. Sometimes care will overlap with occupational therapists. This type of care can help patients regain their quality of life. Sometimes activities of daily living can be over whelming. Therapist can assist with this recovery.


Chiropractic or Physical Therapy for spinal problems is the major issue. This is where the decision is difficult. My experience in meeting with most primary physicians is they do not know which type of care the patient need. Primary doctors are outstanding at treating medical issues. They are not well trained on dealing with spinal pain. There is little to no training on this subject for primary doctors. Physician assistants and nurses will agree to that as well.

How do you know if you should see a chiropractor or a physical therapist?

Let’s try to make it simple. Physical Therapy is generally better for pure muscle issues. An example is as follows. If you are lifting and you feel a muscle tear, then physical therapy can help you rehab. If the pain is off to the side of the spine and is ache it may be a muscle problem. A simple test that I test primary doctors is very helpful. If your back hurts are a particular motion, it could be either muscle or joint. So the test is this. Try moving in that motion. For example, if your neck or back hurts when you flex (bend forward), try that motion. Then have someone bend you in that same motion without you trying. In other words, let them try to gently bend you. If it hurts when you do it by yourself, it could be muscle, or joint, or both. If does not hurt when they do it, it could be just muscles.


Chiropractor excel at treating joint issues. Some chiropractors like myself, have access to amazing diagnostic equipment. In my office we use the Pulstar ProAdjuster computerized chiropractic system. This instrument is actually designed to determine of the issue is mostly muscular or mostly joint. With this technology we can determine if the patient’s issue should be treated with computerized chiropractic or if they should be referred to physical therapy. With this testing procedure we can assure patients that they will be receiving appropriate care. To see the Pulstar ProAdjuster computerized chiropractic system in action, please watch some videos about it on our site.

Chiropractic or Physical Therapy

Chiropractic or Physical Therapy