Chiro Vs Physio

A clipboard with a pencil drawing of a human spine.

Chiropractic and physiotherapy are popular treatments for pain and problems in our musculoskeletal system (our bones and muscles). They share many similarities but have some key differences that may make one path better than the other for you.

Which one is best? And what are the differences?

These are some of the more frequent questions that chiros and physios get in their line of work. This article will focus more on the differences.

Let’s dive in!

Chiro Vs Physio – Similarities

Before looking at the differences between chiropractic and physiotherapy, looks take a quick look at some of the similarities.

  • Both are recognised medical disciplines
  • Practiced by licensed professionals
  • Involve movement of the body via hands-on treatments
  • Focuses on nonsurgical treatments
  • End goal of pain relief and restoration of natural movement
  • Often features long-term strategies for effective treatment
  • Less reliance on pharmaceuticals

These many similarities can lead people to assuming that the treatments are the same, but they are not. Although both have similar goals and treatment mindsets, the actual strategies and movements are quite different.

Let’s now look at the key differences.

Chiro Vs Physio – Key Differences

Focuses on musculoskeletal system – mainly spine alignment for pain reliefFocuses on pain-free, natural movement of the body
Treatments target the spine, joints, and other skeletal areasTherapy investigates bodily movements and muscles
Chiros work on and adjust the body directlyPhysio often uses exercise coupled with deep stretches
Deep skeletal issues often requires specialised equipment for analysis and treatmentPhysio can be done almost anywhere because exercise is universal

The biggest difference between chiro and physio:

  • Chiro focuses on physical manipulation of the musculoskeletal system – it fixes your problem with high-speed movements that realign your skeleton to its natural state.
  • Physio achieves the same goal by focusing on overall flexibility and movement of the body using exercise and stretching, strengthening muscles and increasing mobility.

While you can be taught proper form for exercise, it’s not a good idea to try realigning your bones on your own.

Veteran chiros will have specialised equipment to best analyse the cause of your problem as well as for fixing it safely.

Because chiropractic involves high-speed moves, it’s very important to ensure your chiro is a licensed and experienced professional.

Chiro vs Physio – Which Is Better?

As with all things concerning treatment, it depends on your needs!

Medical conditions can come from a variety of sources: From poor posture and inactivity to repeated movements and straining muscles, the first step to success is finding out the true causes.

A doctor is the most qualified person to do an initial evaluation. Relying on the Internet might cost you unnecessary expenses or even make the problem worse.

Getting opinions from both physiotherapists and chiropractors may be the best way to cover all your bases. The differing perspectives may reveal the best option for your specific case.

Need A Professional Chiropractic Opinion?

Michael and David Black have been practicing Chiropractic care for the past 36 years with practices located in Armadale and Doncaster. They would be happy to consult on your spinal health and get to the root of any issues.

Book an appointment by calling (03) 9509 7691 or visit to find out more.