When you are suffering from a musculoskeletal injury, it can be difficult to know what you need to do. Do you need medication? Should you simply just rest? Should you seek treatments? What treatments will you need? Will you need surgery?

It is hard for you to know without tests and a professionals diagnosis. When you have this type of injury, there are two common treatment options — chiropractic care and physical therapy. There are some similarities between these two treatments, but there are also a ton of differences. You may not know a lot about either of these care options, besides their general practices, but we are here to change that.

At Spine Pain Center, we offer both chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation. Our caring and knowledgeable staff and different services can help you get the care and treatment you need to heal your musculoskeletal injury. Our doctors will be able to make the decision about which treatment is best for you. But we still want you to know more about these two treatment options.

In this blog, we are going to cover chiropractic care and physical therapy, what makes them different, and how they can benefit you. Read on to learn more about these musculoskeletal injury treatment options.

What Are They?

First, we need to define what each of the two treatment options are in order to better explain their differences.

Chiropractic care is used to treat injuries and illnesses in the musculoskeletal system, which chiropractors diagnose. This treatment is done by manipulating the body, adjusting joints and bones, and getting the body back into alignment.

Physical therapy is used to help people recover from musculoskeletal injuries or illnesses to improve and restore mobility and function. During physical therapy sessions, you will work to strengthen muscles and to regain a proper range of motion, which will help you get back your normal mobility levels.

These treatments are used for different types of injuries and illnesses. However, they can often be used together to give you the best treatment and help you recover fully. Let’s take a closer look at these two practices.

What They Treat

Chiropractic care and physical therapy are both used to treat injuries and illnesses that involve muscles, joints, and bones, but they are used to treat different types of injuries and issues involving the musculoskeletal system.


Chiropractors are skilled and trained doctors that use their hands to help realign the body and adjust anything that has been pushed out of place. Chiropractic care has been used to provide relief to those with chronic headaches, back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. Chiropractic care focuses on issues with the neck and back. There are many different things that chiropractic care can surprisingly provide relief for, including fertility issues, ear infections, menstrual disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, and more. Some of the treatment techniques used include soft tissues mobilization, therapeutic modalities and exercises, massage, and spinal manipulation.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy uses different techniques to heal, treat, and prevent injuries. Some of the techniques that physical therapy uses include posture improvement, passive physical therapy, active physical therapy, manual therapy, massages, relaxation, and more. Based on your injury and your needs, a physical therapist will create a custom treatment plan for you, which will help heal your injury and manage pain.

Active physical therapy is at the base of most physical therapy treatments. It can involve strength exercises, aerobics, and stretching. Passive physical therapy is therapy that does not involve movement, rather it uses applications of ice, heat, or TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to help with treatment. Manual therapy refers to the manipulation of the body by the therapist. This is done to increase flexibility and mobility. Some of the other treatment technique physical therapists use include joint manipulation, soft-tissue mobilization, neurologic rehabilitation, muscle coordination, and sports performance.

The Benefits

Both chiropractic care and physical therapy can offer a variety of benefits and, depending on your injury, one will provide you with better benefits than the other. Like we mentioned above, there two treatments can be used together to help you recover and prevent future injuries. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that can be offered by each of these.

Chiropractic Benefits

There are many benefits of chiropractic care and is based on the belief that our bodies can heal themselves with just a small amount of intervention. This treatment has been proven to support overall wellness. Chiropractic care helps to alleviate pain, restore mobility, and can reduce the need for surgery due to pain. We have already mentioned that chiropractic care can help with everything from headaches to fertility issues, which shows the wide range of injuries and issues that this treatment type can improve.

Physical Therapy Benefits

Physical therapy is often used after surgeries or accidents that cause pain and limit mobility and function. Physical therapy can help strengthen muscles and joint around areas of pain. Physical therapy can even be used before joint replacement surgery and can reduce the need for postoperative care by 30 percent according to Pain Doctor. Physical therapy can restore your mobility, flexibility, and help make your daily functions easier. This treatment can also improve coordination and balance, which can reduce your risk of falls.

There are many benefits of both chiropractic care and physical therapy. While they both include different techniques and work for different injuries, they are both beneficial for injuries involving the musculoskeletal system. If you have been suffering from pain or have received an injury, one of these (or both) treatment options can help heal and treat your issues.

At the Spine Pain Center, we can provide you with the care you need to help heal your injury, reduce your pain, and restore your mobility and functions. With 40 years of experience, quality doctors that can provide the best care, and chiropractic and physical therapy services, you can rest assured you are in the best hands. Contact us to schedule an appointment and get your questions answered! We have locations in Columbia, Mount Pleasant, and North Charleston, allowing you to find the location nearest you.