What Is The Difference Between A Chiro And A Physio

Posted on: Jul 21st, 2023 by adminva | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

Physio Vs Chiro

Do I need a Physio or Chiro? 

When you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, many people will tell you to visit a chiropractor. However, others will tell you to see a physiotherapist. From what both groups of people tell you, chiros and physios sound like they do the same thing. So how are you meant to know which one to see for your low back pain, headaches, or sports injury?

The truth is that chiropractors and physiotherapists use different therapies and modalities to assist in managing pain and other conditions. They are similar in many ways, but they are not the same practice and have many noticeable differences once you get to know the practices on a deeper level.

This blog explains how chiropractors and physiotherapists differ and details the types of therapies each can provide. To find out more or to book a physiotherapy or chiropractic appointment in Townsville, contact our team at The Physio Movement today.

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic care aims to diagnose and treat neuromuscular disorders and musculoskeletal conditions through manually adjusting, or manipulating the spine. Chiropractors will approach the spine through its relationship with the nervous system in an effort to restore the spine’s structural integrity and decrease pain and discomfort in patients.

Chiropractors use non-surgical treatments to address musculoskeletal conditions including headaches and migraines, back pain, neck pain, restricted movement, and work and sports-related injuries.

A chiropractor aims to treat your condition with chiropractic adjustment, or chiropractic manipulation. A chiropractic adjustment typically involves the therapist applying quick, controlled pressure to the relevant area of the body which can cause a ‘pop’ sound. This sound is the release of gas, which then relieves joint pressure.

Chiropractic care can also involve exercises, stretching, and soft tissue techniques such as massage.

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists focus on helping patients improve their mobility, flexibility, and strength. They do this via physical techniques such as exercises, massage therapy, stretching, and other modalities.

Physiotherapy is concerned with conditions that affect the bones, muscles, nerves, and cardiovascular system. In doing so, they may be able to help people manage chronic conditions and diseases by giving practical lifestyle advice, providing health education, and prescribing exercises, aids, and appliances.

Physiotherapy treatments vary depending on the patient’s needs. Physiotherapists may engage in manual therapies such as stretching and manual resistance training, exercises such as muscle strengthening and training, and electrotherapy techniques such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), laser therapy, and ultrasound.

How Are Chiropractors and Physiotherapists Similar?

Both chiropractic and physiotherapy aim to treat musculoskeletal conditions and to help patients feel the best they can. Chiropractic care and physiotherapy share that they use non-surgical treatments that aim to address pain and discomfort, and help patients to live the best quality of life they possibly can.

Chiropractors and physiotherapists can also use the same types of therapies, depending on the patient’s needs. For example, like chiropractors, physiotherapists may use joint manipulation as the chosen therapy (or one of the chosen therapies) for their patients.

How Are Chiropractors and Physiotherapists Different?

A core difference between chiropractic care and physiotherapy is the form of treatment itself, and the intended aim of the treatment. While both aim to help patients feel better, chiropractic care focuses on restoring normal movement and function to the spine, in addition to strengthening the surrounding muscles and tissue. They do this through chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulation.

On the other hand, physios aim to improve the function and movement of a patient’s joints and muscles through exercise. These exercises are designed to improve mobility, flexibility, and strength.

Generally, chiropractic care involves manipulation to restore normal functioning and movement, while physiotherapy focuses on mobilisation techniques.

How Do I Know Who I Should a Chiro or Physio?

If you’re dealing with pain in your muscles or joints, you don’t need to sit around and wish the pain away.

The most important thing is you find a professional who is a good fit for you personally. Take your condition and your needs into account, and consider the differences outlined here. Seeing a professional is the main priority— if need be, they may refer you in another direction, but in any case, you’re on the right track.

Chiropractic Care or Physiotherapy in Townsville?

If you’ve been unsure of whether to see a chiropractor or a physiotherapist, we hope this blog has helped you to decide which practitioner may be the right fit for you. If you’re looking for a chiropractor or physiotherapist in Townsville, our team at The Physio Movement can help. We offer both physiotherapy and chiropractic care in our welcoming and open environment, where we take an evidence-based approach to your care and wellbeing. To make an appointment, contact our friendly and helpful team today.


Physiotherapy Townsville - The Physio Movement


     517 Flinders Street
Townsville City Qld 4810
     1300 TPM FIT or 4740 4516
Book Now
Book Now