What Is The Difference Between Chiro and Physio?

Although to many people Chiro and Physio might appear to be similar, there are actually distinct differences between these two professions. Chiro has traditionally focused on skeletal function and structure. On the other hand, the focus of physio is on muscular groups. We will be exploring these differences in this article, and taking a closer look at how these professions overlap and attempt to bridge the gap.



Movement disorders is what physios specialise in, and they frequently are associated with muscular tensions. Physios often work with those who have mobility issues, premature babies, back and neck pain, and sporting injuries.

Typically a session will involve assessing the situation and needs of the patient, discussing the patient’s goals, and developing a plan so those goals can be met. Often the plan will involve changes in lifestyle, including changes to mental health, exercise and diet.


Traditionally, skeletal and joint issues are what chiros have expertise in. This frequently involves back, and neck issues and many people have an image of someone laying down and having a Chiropractor crack their back.

What chiropractors actually do is deal with pressures, tensions, and misalignments of the spine, and use various hands-on methods for achieving that.

Typically a session will involve discussing the needs of the patient, followed by a hands-on treatment in order to help alleviate the problems. For instance, if the patient is suffering from a sore lower back, then the Chiropractor might perform a spinal joint adjustment along with utilising a muscle therapy technique, like dry needling or myofascial release.


To summarise, the two main differences are in the way they treat problems. A more hands-on approach tends to be used by chiros, whereas physios have a tendency to plan and select treatment options that are less hands-on.


Recently, the two professions have started to become more alike, with Chiropractors evolving so that they now can help with many of the issues that are treated by physios. Here at Melville Wellness Centre we aim to bridge this gap by providing both traditional soft tissue, muscle and traditional chiro services.

Some Chiros in Perth, like Melville Wellness Centre, have taken on a holistic approach, which physios traditionally held. That means that they look at their patients’ lifestyles as well, and create plans for addressing their long-term health needs.

Which One Is Better?

There are some people who prefer one over the other. Ultimately, it will depend on your own personal preferences and situation.

Do you have spinal pain that you are suffering from? If so, then a chiropractor is more likely to be able to assist you better.

Are you searching for a long-term solution or quick fix?

You should search for a holistically minded physio or chiropractor if taking a holistic approach is something that is important to you.

To summarise, neither one of these professionals is inherently better than the other – however, one might be better for your situation.

If you have questions about the services that we offer, then please feel free to contact our friendly chiropractor here at Melville Wellness Centre. We will be very happy to discuss your needs and situation as well as answer any questions you might have.


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