Choosing a Physical Therapist or Chiropractor

Learn the key differences between a PT and DC to get the best treatment results

Why Choose a Doctor of PT?

Choosing a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley or Los Angeles areas can be a difficult choice.  Even though there are a lot of skilled Chiropractors and Physical Therapists in Ventura and Los Angeles County, patients must first choose which of the two professions is best suited for their condition.

Here are some key differences between a Physical Therapist and a Chiropractor.

Treatment Time::

If you are limited on time and need a quick adjustment of your spine, Chiropractors are an excellent source for relieving pain in the spine. Most Chiropractic adjustments can be completed in minutes.

On the other hand if you body needs more treatment often times physical therapy treatments will last almost an hour – sometimes more depending on your condition.


Both Chiropractors and Physical Therapists are trained and skilled in restoring joint mobility. Both Chiropractors and Physical Therapists use high velocity low amplitude joint (HVLA) manipulative techniques. Chiropractors use the term “adjustment” while physical therapists use the word “joint mobilization”. The mainstay of Chiropractic primary education is on spinal adjustments while Physical Therapists attend post doctorate HVLA certificate programs.

Soft Tissue Mobilization vs Massage::

Physical Therapists are highly trained in soft tissue mobilization during their doctoral program. They are also able to take extensive continuing education programs for trigger point release, active release techniques, myofascial release and many others.

Chiropractic offices typically have aides do the soft tissue massage and also hire massage therapists. All forms of massge can be beneficial it depends on a patient’s health condition and goals.

Exercise vs Modalities::

Physical Therapists have an extensive background in neuromuscular rehabilitation. Anyone who has been to a PT was certainly given an active home exercises program. The physical therapists is always looking for ways to get patients back to their healthy life style with independence. Physical Therapists believe in a beginning and an end to rehabilitation that is fully supported by specific prescription of home exercises.

Chiropractors as a group do far less exercises and rely more on modalities. Modalities are passive forms of treatment that do not make a patient stronger or more coordinated. Both physical therapists and chiropractors use modalities such as laser, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and electromagnetic therapy. Patients will spend more time in a physical therapy office receiving the benefits of both modalities and multiple exercises to strengthen and coordinate the various body parts.

Choose a Good Doctor::

The last crucial point to know if you are choosing a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist in Westlake Village, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks or Los Angeles areas is that there are good and bad doctors in each profession. The most important thing to remember is to choose a GOOD Physical Therapist or Chiropractor because they WILL make the difference to your health and well being.

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