The Difference Between Chiropractic and Massage

May 12, 2020

Have you had persistent pain in my back for several months now that feels like it will never end?

Maybe you’re suffering from neck pain that you can’t seem to shake.

Either way, you might be to the point where you’re ready to see a specialist about it.

But the problem is, is that you don’t know exactly where you need to go or who you need to see to fix your problems. 

Depending on who you talk to or what article you read, some recommend massage therapy, while others say you should go to a chiropractor

So, what’s the difference between chiropractic and massage?

Massage and chiropractic care are very different treatments.

However, they do share a few similarities in the purpose of seeking care. 

Both treatments are effective at preventing some illnesses and pain as well as aiding in the healing process of illnesses and pain.

In the article below, we will discuss the differences and similarities between chiropractic care and massage therapy.

Different Approaches

Massage therapy and chiropractic care have two different approaches when it comes to care. 

Massage therapy is primarily concerned with the manipulation of your soft tissues such as tendons, connective tissues, muscles, joints, and ligaments.

Massage therapy also relaxes muscles and relieves stress on the muscular system.  

To do this, massage therapists use a variety of hands-on techniques that are very effective in relaxing muscles.  

Massage therapy is often successful and works to mobilize the body, strengthen the muscles, and relieve pain.

It does this by using a variety of techniques, including various machines such as ultrasound and electrotherapy. 

When pain and swelling is a result of muscle trauma, massage therapy can increase blood flow and speed up healing.

Chiropractic is unique in that it focuses on optimizing the nervous system to treat issues with the musculoskeletal system.  

Since the nervous system is the command center of the human body, it must be optimized and working to maintain good health. 

Most pain is a result of the nervous system not working at optimum performance.

Trauma is a leading cause of that disruption.  

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Neck Injury Chiropractor

Similarities and Differences Between Massage and Chiropractic

First, both chiropractic and massage therapy

  • Work the body to encourage healthier alignment
  • Have immediate effects
  • Drug-free, non-surgical alternatives to pain management

So, what are the differences between chiropractic and massage therapy?

Chiropractors can make medical diagnoses and request x-rays or blood work to investigate the cause of a patient’s pain.

Massage therapists cannot make medical diagnoses or request diagnostic testing.

Chiropractic care can specifically treat disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system. 

Some of the most common issues chiropractors help with are back pain, joint pain, headaches, ear infections, tendinitis, and tension.

Massage therapy can help with tension, pain, and has been shown to help with insomnia.

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Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor

Chiropractors perform direct manipulations of the spine and joints, so they require much more training than a massage therapist. 

Chiropractors must receive an undergraduate degree and then move on to earn a doctorate from a chiropractic program.

While there are shared health benefits in chiropractic and massage therapy, chiropractors can treat some specific medical conditions that massage therapy can’t. 

Massage may reduce symptoms related to these health conditions, but they are not directly treating them.

Chiropractic care can treat conditions such as:

  • Tension
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Tendinitis
  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Joint Pain
  • Ear Infections
  • Insomnia

Many patients also visit a Chiropractor for back pain. Check out our blog post top reasons people throw their back out

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Benefits of Seeing a Massage Therapist

Massage therapists focus on manipulating soft tissues like your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. 

They are not licensed to adjust the spine, or other joints like chiropractors are. 

Massage can undoubtedly complement chiropractic care and has health benefits for wellness that are great for healing.

Massage therapy can provide health benefits, such as:

  • Increased Blood Flow
  • Boosted Immunity
  • Reduced Anxiety
  • Improved Skin Condition

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Chiropractic Care and Massage Work Great Together

Ultimately, you want to achieve a balance between chiropractor and massage therapy that can help you if you’re suffering from chronic pain. 

Massage therapy will help loosen up the muscles before or after an adjustment, and a chiropractic adjustment can last longer when your muscle tension is released.

Massage therapists and chiropractors can work together to provide patients with the best outcomes possible.

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Neck Injury

Contact A Chiropractor Today

Each profession offers its benefits to its patients, even with different approaches.

Many chiropractic patients utilize massage therapy in coordination with their chiropractic adjustments.  

Utilizing both techniques can help people hold their alignment longer, which encourages health and healing where necessary.

If you or someone in your family is suffering from chronic pain and needs a back adjustment, contact Advanced Injury Care to schedule an appointment. 

The chiropractors with Advanced Injury Care can determine the underlying cause of your pain and provide a treatment plan tailored to your needs to relieve you of your pain. 

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