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Chiropractic  vs Physiotherapy

Also a very common question I am often asked!

Chiropractic Vs. Physiotherapy

What is the difference?



Historically Chiropractic has focused on skeletal function where Physiotherapy focused on muscular groups. Today, the differences between the two professions have become less distinct. Today's evidence-based medicine and the fact that we all tend to read the same research, means a lot of overlap exists between Physiotherapists and Chiropractors and how they practice.

There are more similarities in content of both academic programs than there are differences. The main differences are Physiotherapists are trained and more versed in post-operative care, stroke management and the management of respiratory conditions. Chiropractors are more thoroughly trained in joint mobilisations and manipulations.

The differences will lie in the individual practitioner


Both are considered Primary Healthcare Providers and can:

  • effectively assess, diagnose, treat and prevent neuro-musculoskeletal conditions

  • screen body systems to determine if the complaint is neuro-musculoskeletal or if there is any likelihood it relates to a systemic pathology, in which case the necessary referral is made


Both will:

  • base their treatments on evidence-based practices and a scientific understanding of the body

  • perform joint mobilisations and manipulations when indicated and safe to do so

  • use a multimodal approach depending on their interests and skillsets, e.g. active release techniques, dry needling, FAKTR (instrument assisted), myofascial cupping, shockwave, laser etc.

  • prescribe exercises based on evidence-based practices, and on their interests and further training e.g. FMS, SFMA, DNS etc.

My advice would be to see the practitioner and not the profession.


The best practitioner patient relationships are those where you are comfortable, can talk openly and trust, with the goal of achieving the best possible health outcomes. And, having fun doing it!

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