Physical, Massage, and Chiropractic Therapy: Where the Difference Lies


Therapy has been one of the best ways to help individuals physically, emotionally, and mentally. However, determining the best form of therapy when confronted with a particular physical problem or mental condition can be challenging. Physical, massage, and chiropractic therapy have been proven as common solutions to these obstacles. However, they are not all the same.


Physical Therapy

If you know someone who has sprained an ankle or broken a bone while playing a particular sport, physical therapy was most likely involved in the healing process. The goal of physical therapy is to help an individual ‘get back on their feet’. This includes restoring movement and overall physical ability in the body after an accident, injury, or surgery.


Massage Therapy

If you’ve had a day at the spa, you have encountered a form of massage therapy. This type of therapy is used to enhance overall wellbeing in the body by the manipulation of soft body tissue. Massage therapy comes in two forms: rehabilitative and relaxation. The rehabilitative form is used for more clinical cases experienced in a hospital, while the relaxation form is experienced in more of a spa environment. This therapy has been a great avenue of relief for patients, physically, emotionally, and mentally.


The Relationship Between Physical and Massage Therapy

The saying goes that ‘a square can be a rectangle, but a rectangle can’t always be a square.’ This same concept applies to the relationship between physical and massage therapy. While physical therapists can use methods in massage therapy to help restore health to patients, massage therapists are not licensed to use all practices used by physical therapists to enhance an individual’s well-being. This is due to the different levels of education each therapy demands. Physical therapy demands a higher overall education than massage therapy. In this vein, massage therapy is more dependent on the art of itself to aid patients, whereas physical therapy uses medical testing and resources to reach conclusions on how to aid an individual.


Chiropractic Therapy

In many instances, the pain you experience in your body links back to the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. Chiropractic therapy involves shaping and working with the spinal cord to restore the body to its proper structure. Individuals dealing with scoliosis, headaches, and pain in the joints, lower back, and the neck can be relieved from these problems with an alignment of posture and structure from a licensed chiropractor.


The Relationship Between Physical and Chiropractic Therapy

Physical and chiropractic therapy have the same goal to restore the body to its best possible state and alignment. However, as noted above, physical therapists and chiropractors go about this restoration in different ways. Physical therapy uses more massage techniques and various exercises to improve mobility. On the other hand, chiropractic therapy specifies in the nervous system’s relationship to ligaments, joints, and the spine to achieve overall alignment and health. Furthermore, while working through muscular tissue may aid in the positioning of the spine, chiropractors will work more with the nervous system than physical therapists in achieving a certain result.


The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

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