What is the difference between a Physiatrist and a Chiropractor?

Answer

The most distinguishing features that differentiate chiropractors from physiatrists are:
1) physiatrists are also medical doctors
2) physiatrists will include prescribed medications as a part of their treatment

A physiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialized in physical medicine and rehibilitation. These specialists focus on restoring function to people by using medications, physical modalities, physical training with therapeutic exercise, movement & activities modification, adaptive equipments and assistive device, orthotics (braces) and prosthesis. Physiatrists coordinate the long term rehibilitation of people with injuries or disease. They may see patients in all age groups and treat all problems that touch upon the all the major systems of the body, from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries or cancer. Physiatrists practice in rehibilitation centers, hospitals, and in private offices. They often concentrate in one area such as pediatrics, sports medicine, geriatric medicine, brain injury, or many other special interests.

A chiropractor is not a medical doctor, but is an expert in the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems. Similar to physiatrists, chiropractors also focus on restoring function to people by using manipulation, mobilization, physical modalities, physical training with therapeutic exercise, movement & activities modification and orthotics. Chiropractors most often treat people with acute/chronic back pain, neck pain, headaches and a variety of other back and joint problems with the goal of relieving symptoms and improving function. Many chiropractors also feel that regular treatment is important to prevent the ocurrance of these symptoms but research examining the preventative benefits of chiropractic are still lacking.