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Combining Chiropractic And Massage Treatments

June 11, 2024

Chocolate and peanut butter … love and marriage … horses and carriages … the world is full of perfect pairings. As it turns out, chiropractic care and massage are also a pretty good match. While both can be beneficial independently, it turns out that they may have an even greater impact when combined. But which is right for you: acupuncture, massage, or both? A local Savage, MN chiropractor sheds some light on this topic below.

Should I Get A Massage Before Or After Chiropractic Treatment?

There’s no hard-and-fast universal rule for this one, as every case is different. Your doctor, chiropractor, and/or massage therapist recommend doing the chiropractic appointment first. 

If you do the massage first, it will loosen up and relax your muscles, allowing better flexibility. That can be important when it comes to spinal manipulations.  However, if you do the chiropractic treatment afterward, your spine will be in alignment, which will help the muscles settle back into the proper position.  

Personal preference also plays a role. Many people also enjoy massage, simply  because they are relaxing and help ease pain. If you know that you will want to go home and relax immediately after the massage,  you may prefer doing that last. 

As you are developing a treatment plan, talk to both your chiropractor and your massage therapist to determine what the best course of action is.  This will depend on the issue being treated. 

Should I See A Masseuse Or A Chiropractor?

Massage and chiropractic care can—and often do—overlap, and also work well together. For example, both can be helpful for those who are dealing with back pain and stiffness. However, the root cause of the issue would really be the answer to that.

If you have a spine or joint issue, you would benefit more from a chiropractor. If the issue is with circulation, muscle soreness, reduced mobility, and/or tension, a massage may be your best bet. 

That said, there is a lot of crossover here. For example, chiropractic treatments can often help ease muscle knots and tension that sometimes form around subluxations, while massage can help increase range of motion, which can help combat a stiff neck from a whiplash injury. 

Do Both Massage Therapists And Chiropractors Need Licenses?

Yes. Both massage therapists and chiropractors are licensed professionals. Of the two, chiropractors go through more extensive training: they must complete three to four years of undergraduate study before starting chiropractic school. A massage therapist may only need six months to a year of training to become licensed. Always and only go through someone who has been licensed by an accredited institution. 

Why Do Chiropractic Care And Massage Work Together? 

Your bones and muscles work together: neither would be able to function properly without the other. Even the strongest muscles can’t move a broken bone, and a perfect joint won’t bend without muscles to move it.

Nerves are also key here. Remember, your spine is your lifeline: it’s the main highway for your nerves, which send and receive signals from your brain. Subluxations and stiff muscles can both interfere with your nerves, just as a kink would stop water from flowing through a hose.

Chiropractic treatment helps ensure that all vertebrae and joints are in the proper position so that your muscles can support and move them properly. Massage helps reduce stiffness and painful knots in those muscles, which improves range of motion, circulation, and mobility.

What Are The Benefits Of Combining Massage And Chiropractic Care? 

Every patient is unique, so the benefits of either therapy and/or both together will ultimately depend on what the issue being treated is. That said, the two combined pack a pretty powerful punch. 

Here are some of the potential benefits of doing both massage and chiropractic care together: 

Pain Relief

Pain relief is one of the most common reasons people visit chiropractors and massage therapists. In this area, the sum of both treatments may be much greater than either part. Although they focus on different areas, both massage and chiropractic remove kinks, blocks, and imbalances  in the body’s natural infrastructure of bones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, improving the body’s ability to heal naturally. 

Reduce Stress 

The American Institute of Stress reports that over a third of people feel extremely stressed, a whopping 77% feel stress affects their physical health, and nearly three out of four report that stress impacts their mental health. You may also notice that your back tenses up when you are stressed … therefore adding pain to the stress. Of course, there are certainly many different causes of both stress and back pain. However, chronic pain often becomes an ever-present source of stress and unhappiness. Even if the pain is fairly mild, it’s always there. Pain relief can in turn help improve mood and motivation, starting an upward spiral. 

Better Mobility 

Improved range of motion is a key benefit of both chiropractic treatment and massage. Given that chiropractic care can help realign the spine, and massage can help keep your muscles supple, strong, and flexible, it makes perfect sense that combining the two can increase the impact. 

That can also lead to improved health and wellness in other areas. For example, if you haven’t been able to exercise because of stiffness, resolving that issue will allow you to become more active. The benefits of regular exercise are well-documented. They include weight control, better cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, reduced risk of stroke, higher energy, and generally better mental health. 

Faster Healing

Massage and chiropractic treatment are sometimes utilized as treatment plans for people recovering from accidents and injuries. Both treatments improve circulation, which is crucial for healing. The body needs that oxygen-rich blood for cell repair and tissue growth, and also for carrying away toxins, such as lactic acid. 

Those are just a few of the possible benefits of combining massage therapy and chiropractic care. Others include faster healing, better flexibility, reduced inflammation, and improved circulation. 

Can You See A Chiropractor And Massage Therapist At The Same Time?

Yes! In fact, that’s really the best way to get the most out of these appointments. You’ll want to talk to both your massage therapist and your chiropractic doctor for a unique treatment plan. However, because they work so well together, many people benefit the most from scheduling them on the same day. If possible, book back-to-back. 

This isn’t just a matter of convenience, though of course that is important as well. With both chiropractic treatment and massage, it’s not uncommon for people to feel sore, tired, and perhaps a bit run-down afterward. This is because both treatments can trigger the body to release toxins from tissue. This is ultimately a good thing, but it may cause temporary discomfort. By booking back-to-back, you may find it easier to plan to take it easy that night. 

Some of this will ultimately depend on what, if any, home care is recommended. If your massage therapist suggests applying heat, while your chiropractor suggests an ice pack, you may need to schedule them at different times. 

In Conclusion: Chiropractic care and massage therapy focus on different parts of the body; chiropractic treatment is focused on aligning the spine, while massage soothes and relieves stiff muscles. The two work very well in conjunction with each other, just as our bones and joints do. Many find that combining the two practices provides a more effective overall treatment than either alone. 

Book A Massage Or Chiropractic Appointment 

Do you want to schedule an appointment for either a massage or chiropractic treatment? Do you have questions about either massage therapy or chiropractic treatment? Please reach out to us here at your Savage, MN chiropractic center.

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