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Chiropractic care, massage therapy or physical therapy? What’s the difference?

Different methods of pain management often are very similar. Which is best for you, and what does chiropractic care provide that the others don’t?

What are the differences between chiropractic care, massage therapy and physical therapy, and what does chiropractic offer that the others don’t?

It can be confusing for people seeking care.

All three are well-known methods of pain management. But due to their many similarities and overlaps, there can be confusion as to which method is best for certain ailments. All three can be effective, relieve your pain and improve your body’s functioning.

Let’s start with massage therapy. How does it work?

A trained, certified medical professional (massage therapist) manipulates the soft tissues of your body – muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and skin. The massage therapist uses varying degrees of pressure and movement.

OK, what’s physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a medical treatment used to restore functional movements, such 

as standing, walking, and moving different body parts. Physical therapy can be both corrective and preventative.

And what is chiropractic care?

Chiropractors have graduated from chiropractic school, where they learn all about the musculoskeletal system. They also learn how to manipulate the skeletal and muscle systems to restore your body’s natural alignment in order to relieve chronic disorders or injury.

Those manipulations help relieve tension and restore mobility for chronic pain you may have in your back, neck or limbs. It also can help relieve muscle spasms, numbness in your extremities, and stiffness.

What does chiropractic do that the others don’t?

Chiropractic care addresses the spine and its alignment, while massage therapists are more focused on the muscles. Same thing with physical therapy. A chiropractor works with your muscles, joints, and the surrounding soft tissue structures to help relieve pain and muscle tension and improve flexibility.

Here’s a bonus thought. Some of our Keith Clinic Estramonte Chiropractic locations also have a massage therapist on the team as well!

What can chiropractic care potentially relieve?

Chiropractic care may provide relief for some conditions that you probably think are unrelated, such as:

  • Migraines
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Asthma
  • Ear infections
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Respiratory infections

Whether it’s aches and pains or injuries from car accidents, you can schedule an appointment at or call at one of the numbers listed on the website.