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    First Rehab West Palm Beach

    Physical Therapy
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    Physical Therapist vs. Chiropractor

    Chiropractor vs Physical Therapist West Palm Beach


    What’s the difference between a Physical Therapist and a Chiropractor? 

    What do you think? Is that a fair question? Have you asked yourself the same question before? I will give you definitions for both professions but first let me ask you some questions which will help you answer the question by yourself. If your had a total hip replacement would you go to the chiropractor? How about if you had an ankle sprain? Chiropractor or physical therapist? If you were dizzy and fell a lot would you call a physical therapist or a chiropractor?

    Here is a harder question: what would you do if you had back pain?

     Let me begin by giving you the definitions provided by the professional associations of these two professions.

    The American Physical Therapy Association states that a physical therapist should be:

    • Examining individuals with impairment, functional limitation, and disability or other health related conditions in order to determine a diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention.

    • Alleviating impairment and functional limitation by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions.

    • Physical Therapists are able to combine quality therapeutic exercise with manual techniques such as joint mobilization to provide the BEST care for many musculoskeletal problems.

    • Preventing injury, impairment, functional limitation, and disability, including the promotion and maintenance of fitness, health, and quality of life in people of all ages.

    • In addition to spinal conditions a Physical Therapist focuses on upper and lower extremity impairments.

    Here is how the American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic:  

    • A drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes:

    • Patient examination, diagnosis and treatment.

    • The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.”

    • Chiropractors treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, skeletal and nervous system, especially the spine.

    • Chiropractic Care employs manipulation and specific adjustment of body structures such as the spinal column to rebalance the nervous system and the body.

    • Chiropractic health care is based on the belief that the brain and nervous system control and coordinate all the body’s functions in part through nerve branches that exit from the spinal cord between the vertebrae.

    • Chiropractors manipulate and adjust the spine and skeletal system to rebalance the nervous system and allow the body to heal itself naturally.

    The biggest difference between Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care is that Physical Therapy addresses functional impairment as it relates to pathology. In other words if there is something wrong with your body (trauma, strain or joint replacement….etc.) you will have certain functional limitations.A physical therapist will assess these limitations and help you regain strength and the function lost.

    Physical therapy is generally required for those with functional limitations, those who have had a major injury or an accident and is in a recuperating phase, or for those who are suffering from debilitating conditions like arthritis and low back pain.

    A physical therapists primary aim is to bring back the patients to his/her normal self, free of any pain or sufferings, so that he/she could then move forward with a normal healthy life.

    For more information or to schedule your initial consultation please contact us.


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