What is the Difference Between Chiropractic and Physiotherapy?

At CW Rehab, we’re dedicated to helping you get the most out of life. As a multidisciplinary wellness clinic, we offer chiropractic services, physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and sports conditioning – all at one single location! This means that in a single visit, our patients often get a chiropractic adjustment with a massage. Another pairing that goes hand-in-hand is chiropractic with physiotherapy, and patients are sometimes confused about the difference. Our talented team is always prepared to help you identify which service(s) are best suited to you, and are happy to explain the benefits of each service and the difference between the two.

What Does a Chiropractor Do?

A chiropractor specializes in manipulating muscles and joints of the body in ways intended to release internal strain and encourage muscle and nerve relaxation, and alignment of the spine, the head, etc.  Other modalities like acupuncture and electrotherapy are often added in each session. Chiropractic therapy is a fantastic way to manage chronic pain and improve overall bodily health. Clients benefit from better circulation, alleviation of pain, and restoring range of motion. The Ontario Chiropractic Association even recommends using chiropractic visits to manage arthritis!

At CW Rehab, our Chiropractors use spinal correction and realignment, acupuncture, and soft tissue therapies to treat a host of issues. If you suffer from regular headaches, a diminished range of motion, neck pain, or nerve issues, consider setting up an appointment with one of our practitioners. We encourage you to try our chiropractic service in tandem with our other techniques, like acupuncture and myofascial release.

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is sometimes called ‘Physical Therapy’. It’s a combination of stretches and exercises performed under the supervision of a trained physiotherapist. The focus of physiotherapy is full mobility and pain-free motions. Once you’ve learned how to do them on your own, continuously performing the movements over time will increase flexibility and mobility. 

Physiotherapy is often recommended for patients who are recovering from an injury, surgery, or an illness that resulted in the loss of mobility/usage of a particular part of the body. Rather than having a practitioner do this to the patient, the patient plays a critically active role in physiotherapy. Ontario Blue Cross put together a comprehensive list of the therapy’s benefits. One-on-one training can result in increased functionality, decreased reliance on pain medication, and better quality sleep.

Chiropractic vs Physiotherapy

It’s possible that you would benefit from both services – and perhaps a massage or acupuncture session while you’re here too! If you’d like to start with a single service, consider this list of questions to determine which one is right for you:

  • Are you trying to strengthen a part of your body after surgery? 
  • Is your physical problem primarily with your back/spine?
  • Have you lost all or part of your range of motion? 
  • Are you experiencing long-term effects associated with repetitive motions?

Your path to full recovery may require a combination of physiotherapy and chiropractic techniques. Everybody (and every single body) is different. Response to each form of therapy will vary from person to person. Because CW Rehab is a multidisciplinary clinic, you can get both chiropractic care and physiotherapy in one location, often in the same visit. 


Do you still have questions? That’s okay – we’re more than happy to talk through your options one-on-one. You can call us directly at 416-463-1821 or reach out for more general inquiries here.

Working hours

8:30 AM–7:00 PM

8:00 AM–8:00 PM

8:30 AM–7:00 PM

8:30 AM–8:00 PM

8:00 AM–5:00 PM

By Appointment Only


491 Church Street
Suite 200
Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C6

CW Rehab is downtown Toronto’s top rehabilitative and whole body wellness clinic. Our team specializes in chiropractic care and systemic disorders, physiotherapy, corrective exercises, and chiropody/podiatry. Our facility is equipped with massage therapy, acupuncture, and sports conditioning to help treat every patient’s needs.

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