What is the difference between a chiropractor and a physical therapist?

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A chiropractor has an expansive diagnostic education, while a physical therapist has a therapeutic, or intervention-based education. Although a chiropractor can provide rehabilitative exercise and modality treatments to the client, his/her main type of treatment is spine manipulation. A physical therapist may also provide manual therapy-type techniques to their patients, but activity modification, therapeutic exercise and modalities are the foundation and focus of a physical therapy practice.

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Chiropractor

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A chiropractor, or doctor of chiropractic medicine, is a licensed medical professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system, especially in the spine.

Physical Therapist

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A physical therapist is someone who diagnoses and treats people (of all ages) who have injuries, medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to function and move properly in their daily lives.