Chiropractic Rehab vs. Physical Therapy: Differences & Similarities

October 10, 2023

chiropractic careIn the vibrant healthcare landscapes of Seattle and Portland, individuals seeking rehabilitation or pain management often weigh two popular options: chiropractic care and physical therapy.

While these approaches have their unique philosophies and methods, they also share more common ground than people think. Believe it or not, a good chiropractor and a good physical therapist have vastly more similarities than differences.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the distinctions and similarities between chiropractic-based rehab and physical therapy to help you make informed decisions about your rehabilitation journey in the Pacific Northwest.


Treatment Techniques

Chiropractic Rehab: Chiropractors, such as our Doctors at Tangelo use soft tissues therapy as well as spinal adjustments and joint manipulation as their primary treatment techniques.

These modalities aim at promoting healing in and around the site of pain, while the prescribed functional rehabilitation corrects faulty movement patterns to reduce stress and trauma into the site.

In short, the treatment addresses the site of the issue while the rehab addresses the possible source of the issue.

Physical Therapy: Like top chiropractors, physical therapists employ a range of techniques, including exercise regimens, manual therapy, modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation.


Diagnosis and Assessment

Chiropractic Rehab: Our Chiropractors at Tangelo perform comprehensive evaluations encompassing the entire musculoskeletal systems.

This includes everything from a detailed review of the patients health-history, movement screening, orthopedic testing and spinal alignment assessments.

Physical Therapy: Physical therapists also perform comprehensive assessments focusing around, but not limited to, the musculoskeletal system, functional limitations, and the patient’s medical history.


Treatment Duration

Chiropractic Rehab vs. Physical Therapy: As mentioned before, there are not many differences between a good chiropractor and a good physical therapist.

Similarly, treatment plans are no different; they are based on the patient’s unique condition, history and goals. Simply put, they are custom to the needs of the patient.


Conditions Treated

Chiropractic Rehab vs. Physical Therapy: Both medical specialties encompass a wide spectrum of conditions, ranging from orthopedic injuries and post-surgery rehabilitation to neurological disorders and chronic pain management. That said, issues related to the spine are generally best addressed by a trusted chiropractor such as the award-winning Doctors at Tangelo.


rehabilitationCommon Ground

Patient-Centered Care: Both chiropractic rehab and physical therapy emphasize patient-centered care.

Healthcare professionals in both fields prioritize the patient’s well-being, customizing treatment plans to address individual needs and goals.

Holistic Approach: While chiropractic care and physical therapy may have different focal points, they share a holistic perspective on health.

Both recognize the interconnectedness of the body and its ability to heal when given the appropriate support and care.



In Seattle and Portland, where healthcare choices abound, understanding the differences and similarities between chiropractic-based rehab and physical therapy is essential for making informed decisions about your rehabilitation journey.

Prioritizing your well-being and consulting with healthcare professionals in your area will guide you towards the most suitable rehabilitation approach for your unique circumstances.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.