Chiropractic is based on the belief that your body can keep itself healthy if your spine, neck, and head are properly aligned and healthy. Chiropractors work with spinal structures, correcting abnormalities or injuries to speed healing of nerve, joint and muscular problems that arise from the misaligned bones. But the spine is also surrounded by soft tissue – muscle and tendons that control the movement and flexibility of the spine, and may either cause or exacerbate the structural problems. “Tight” muscles or torn ligaments can prolong spinal problems and postpone healing. Massage therapy can be useful in relieving these kinds of soft tissue problems.
In the simplest terms, chiropractors work with the structure to influence function and massage therapists can assist with work on the muscles. They are complementary. Massage is often recommended along with chiropractic treatment, either before an adjustment or afterwards, as part of a longer treatment regimen. This combination of treatments often produces effective results, and sometimes faster healing in the patient.
Massage is often recommended as a preparation for a chiropractic adjustment because it relieves the muscle tension that may be pulling joints out of alignment and makes it easier to move them back into place. Massage is also relaxing, and a relaxed body is easier for the chiropractor to work with. In addition, as the chiropractor corrects the structural problems that are causing pain or limiting your mobility, massage can complement the healing process by stretching and relaxing muscles that have been aggravated by these structural problems, making it easier for you to stretch and exercise, and thus more quickly achieve a state of normal well-being.
Many chiropractors work hand-in-hand with massage therapists because their treatment modalities are so complementary. Patients who sought relief from massage therapists for pain, but find that it persists, may often be helped by receiving chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic patients often find that their treatment proceeds faster and with less discomfort when the soft tissue has been relaxed with massage. Recovery – especially from conditions that cause pain – is normally faster and more complete when multiple components of that pain are addressed simultaneously, the chiropractor working to resolve the structural problems and the massage therapist working to resolve the soft tissue problems. Most chiropractors and massage therapists who work together collaborate to find the proper combination of chiropractic adjustments and massage to get you back to a state of health and well-being as quickly as possible.
Both chiropractic and massage therapy are holistic treatment modalities because they share a common goal of treating the whole body, helping you to achieve this state of well-being without drugs or surgery. Both focus on trying to resolve the underlying cause of your pain or discomfort rather than treating isolated symptoms. When they are used in combination, a synergy occurs that is often far more effective than either approach on its own.
If you have questions about chiropractic or massage – call us, we’re here to help!