For anyone who has ever had neck, back, shoulder, or knee pain, (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?) you’ve probably considered many different ways to find pain relief.
While there are plenty of over the counter pain relievers, creams, lotions, and balms that will ease simple muscle pain, what should you do if this pain doesn’t go away or if it returns again and again?
For those with chronic pain due to health conditions (arthritis, degenerative disc disease, etc.) finding ways to manage pain can be an arduous task.
One Effective and Proven Treatment
Without fail, there is one treatment that doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists will agree on that can make you feel better, relieve pain, and improve nearly every condition and attitude- all in one hour.
What treatment are we talking about? Chiropractic massage.
The evidence that massage therapy is effective in multiple areas is overwhelming.
Pain Relief- Both a 2008 review of current research and a 2011 clinical trial found that massage was helpful for those with low back pain.
Another 2009 clinical trial found that massage therapy offered pain relief from chronic neck pain.
A 2012 study found this type of therapy helped those with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Improved Mental Health
One meta-analysis of 17 clinical trials done in 2010 found that massage therapy reduced levels of depression.
In 2012, a short study found that twice weekly yoga and massage therapy helped lower depression levels, feelings of anxiety, and back/leg pain for pregnant women.
Fewer Fibromyalgia Symptoms
A review of studies done in 2010 found that massage therapy helped to reduce symptoms such as fatigue and pain, although the results were temporary.
Improved Quality of Life
A review of studies performed in 2010 found that regular massage therapy helped to improve the quality of life for those with HIV or AIDS.
Improvements for Cancer Patients
A variety of studies have been done in this area, all of which have shown that massage therapy reduced pain, stimulated feelings of relaxation, and improved the mood, especially for those in the advanced stages of cancer.
What is the Difference Between a Chiropractor and a Massage Therapist?
While these two types of therapy seem similar, they are certainly not the same.
Chiropractic therapy is done by a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), a highly trained and certified specialist that deals with the musculoskeletal system of the body.
Their type of therapy, although it mainly involves the hands, is the manipulation and adjustment of the spine, cervical spine, joints, muscles, and tendons.
Chiropractors will generally use tests such as x-rays or MRI’s to determine problems with the spine or joints and the alignment of areas that are no longer in sync.
The health of the spine is very important since the central nervous system, which sends communication to the brain, is supported by the spine.
A massage is performed by a licensed therapist who applies direct, hands on pressure to the soft tissues of the body, mostly muscle groups, to stimulate circulation, provide stress relief, stimulate healing and relieve pain.
Massage therapy only focuses on the muscles and soft tissues, not the bones, tendons, or joints. A massage therapist will never manipulate the spine or return joints to their proper position.
In combination, chiropractic and massage therapy are the ultimate in stopping pain and relief of other symptoms, such as migraines and stress.
Is It Better to Get a Massage or See a Chiropractor?
This would depend on the problem you are experiencing. If you simply have muscle tension, overworked muscles, or if you are looking for a pleasant distraction for stress relief, any day spa can offer you a massage.
However, this doesn’t have to be an either-or choice. Almost all qualified chiropractors understand that massage therapy and adjustments go hand in hand, which is why they offer chiropractic massage.
What Does Chiropractic Massage Mean?
You might picture some little gremlin massaging your spine, but the truth is that chiropractic massage involves the massage therapist warming up and loosening the muscles in preparation for the adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments are much easier when the muscles are loose and warm, ready for the subluxations to be repaired.
After the adjustment, it is not uncommon for the patient to return to the massage therapist, where the chiropractor will direct them to pay attention to certain areas or advise them of possible trigger points that need to be released.
In short, a chiropractic massage involves the chiropractor, a regular spa massage does not.
For those who are experiencing back pain, especially low back pain, sciatica, neck pain, shoulder pain or for those with injuries or health conditions, a chiropractic massage can do wonders for healing and the relief of symptoms.
Is Massage or a Chiropractor Better for Neck Pain?
This would depend on the root cause of the neck pain.
While whiplash cases would absolutely want to see their chiropractor, if you are experiencing neck pain from sleeping wrong or from an overly exuberant workout, a massage would probably be fine.
If you are unsure as to the source of your neck pain or if you have chronic neck pain, you will want to see a chiropractor for a diagnosis.
Chiropractors are holistic healers, which means they look at the entire body and search for the root cause of the problem. They won’t just treat the symptoms. If you are experiencing chronic neck pain, you should read this article.
Seeing a chiropractor and receiving a chiropractic massage can mean getting rid of neck pain for good!
Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy Work Together in Harmony
While comprehensive chiropractic care and massage therapy might not be the solution for everyone or every situation, a treatment plan that combines both chiropractic massage and chiropractic adjustments will help most people with chronic pain from musculoskeletal problems, sciatica, low back pain, or injuries.
There are several benefits to having a chiropractic massage:
- Massage prepares the body for adjustments. When the muscles are relaxed and loosened by the massage, adjustments are easier. You will also feel less anxious and be less tense, allowing the doctor to do adjustments with less resistance.
- Your pain will go away much faster. The combination of these two types of hands on therapy can significantly improve recovery time for injuries and reduce pain levels for those with health issues.
- Chiropractic massage increases the effectiveness of the chiropractic adjustments. When massage loosens the muscles, the body is able to hold on to the adjustment for a longer period of time. You will have fewer muscle spasms, be far less likely to pull the spine or joints out of alignment and you will feel far better for a longer period of time.
The process of restoring and maintaining health is vital for a full and active life. Each session, whether it be chiropractic or massage, can only provide so much in the area of healing and progress. Final results take time, which is why a specific treatment plan will be given and should be followed to ensure maximum results.
What Does a Chiropractic Massage Cost?
As with most things, cost depends on the area in which you live. Prices can vary tremendously with chiropractic massage prices costing between $60 and $110 per hour. Some clinics offer discounts for cash payments, others offer a monthly or yearly “subscription” fee. Each clinic is different, and you can speak to the office personnel or your chiropractor about costs.
For You Sports Enthusiasts
Everyone knows that exercise is the best way to stay in shape and keep the body healthy. Unfortunately, with so many of us having desk jobs, we end up being weekend warriors, playing sports or exercising intensely so that we get in all the exercise we can in a short period of time.
This tends to cause injury and overuse issues. If you have ever had a backache on Monday and wondered if it would go away on its own or if you should see the chiropractor or have a massage, then chiropractic massage is the perfect answer.
In fact, research shows that having chiropractic massage and chiropractic adjustments can not only prepare you for the game, but enhances overall performance, and helps people recover faster from overuse or injuries related to the musculoskeletal system.
The Bottom Line
If you have any concerns or issues or if you aren’t sure whether you need to visit a chiropractor, then chances are that should see your chiropractor first. They will do a complete exam and determine the root cause of your pain.
Should the doctor find that you should see a different type of doctor or specialist, they will be able to steer you in the right direction and recommend a health care professional that can help.
We hope you found this article helpful. If so, please feel free to share it with others.
If you aren’t sure whether or not chiropractic massage or comprehensive chiropractic care is right for you, or if you are suffering with low back, neck, shoulder, or joint pain, the experts at Better Health Chiropractic and Physical Rehab encourage you to call one of our 4 clinics or you can click here to make an appointment online.
Don’t live with pain another minute! Feel better in just one hour by calling us today!
Schedule an Appointment and Receive
FREE One-Hour Massage Certificate
That’s right! Receive a certificate for a free one-hour massage with our highly-trained and licensed massage therapists for use after your first appointment. Use it yourself, or give it to a friend.