What Is The Difference Between A Chiropractor And A Physiotherapist?

When dealing with an injury, it can be confusing on who to get help from. Chiropractors and physiotherapists have many similarities but are also distinct in several ways

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round image of a Burnaby physiotherapist
Restore your body movement patterns and function
Improve your spinal mechanics and motion
round image of a Burnaby chiropractor

Similarities Between Chiropractic And Physiotherapy

Hands-on or manual treatment

Both often use their hands to perform a treatment or hand-held tools, such as mobilization or an Activator adjustment

Exercise rehab

Care plans often include a variety of stretching, strengthening and core exercises to support your treatment

Treatment of nerve, muscle and joint problems

Both physiotherapists and chiropractors are skilled in helping those with a variety of physical injuries and problems including back pain, headaches and shoulder injuries

Conditions Treated

Both chiropractors vs physiotherapists treat similar conditions and areas, but generally:

circular photo of Burnaby chiropractor


Most patients who visit a chiropractor tend to have

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • In other words, spinal problems and injuries


Physiotherapists typically see more patients with

  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Wrist or hand
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Ankle and feet injuries

Essentially, arm and leg conditions and pains

circular photo of a Burnaby physiotherapist

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neck pain treatment

Other Differences

Chiropractic care

Chiropractors can treat most areas of your body but focus on your spine and related structures. Their aim is to improve areas of your spine that are not moving properly.

The main treatment used is the adjustment. This is done with an instrument or by hand. Improving how your spine moves can help ease your pain. A visit may be just a few minutes to 15 minutes.

Nervous system
Chiropractors recognize that your nervous system impacts your entire body, from your muscles to your organs, your head to your toes. By improving spinal mechanics, this allows your brain to better control your body, reducing injuries and improving your ability to heal.


Physiotherapists restore movement patterns and corrects muscular imbalances or weaknesses to reduce discomfort and improve your ability to move. They treat a variety of problems. They help those with back pain, headaches and other injuries such as ankle and knee injuries.

They provide post-surgical and post-stroke rehabilitation, areas chiropractors seldom treat. Physios use a variety of techniques and treatment methods. This includes manual therapy, modalities, ultrasound and visceral manipulation. They tend to place greater emphasis on exercise rehab

A session usually lasts 30-60 minutes.

Your Physiotherapy And Chiropractic Team

Dr Amber Kenmuir

Dr Amber Kenmuir

damien dubouchet

Damien Dubouchet

janice low

Janice Low

jeff boudreau

Jeff Boudreau

josh chen

Josh Chen

Dr John Sheu

Dr John Sheu

marcela vilela

Marcela Vilela
Interim Physiotherapist

may sheu

May Sheu

Need Help Deciding Who To See?

We can guide you to the right person to help you get your life back

Call 604-738-1168

Contact Us