A physical therapist’s primary concern is to help a person regain control over injured or weakened limbs. The job of a chiropractor, on the other hand, focuses on fixing problems that originate at a person’s spine that affects their health and well-being. The difference is glaring as you can see that a chiropractor works within a more comprehensive field. While a chiropractor can employ a physical therapist’s techniques, it doesn’t work the other way around as a physical therapist’s field of specialization is narrower than that of a chiropractor.
Nevertheless, both chiropractors and physical therapists are legally authorized to make diagnoses of illnesses and pain. In fact, a person with a doctor physical therapist (DPT) degree has finished some of the prerequisite courses required in a DC program, which means they can study in chiropractic school and become a DC at the same time.
While a chiropractor may employ massage techniques, that doesn’t mean that a massage therapist can practice chiropractic. For one, chiropractors are doctors while massage therapists are not, which means massage therapists can’t diagnose health problems or injuries. Another difference is the focus area. Massage therapists only deal with muscle pain, while chiropractors also deal with other causes of pain other than muscle pain including that of the spine, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and bones. If you’re only looking for a quick relaxing rubbing-down, you can go to a massage therapist near you, but if you’re looking for pain treatment, you need to go to a chiropractor. You should also remember that while insurance can cover a chiropractor’s massage, the same does not apply for your spa relaxation massage.