Chiropractor Vs Massage Therapist: Which Is Better?
It’s a question that we hear from new patients all the time. What’s the best treatment option for my condition: a massage therapist or a chiropractor?
Many times people are torn between the two options because, on the surface, massage therapy and chiropractic services seem similar. While both chiropractors and massage therapists primarily focus on preventative care and recovery, their goals and methods can vary greatly.
In this article, we will look at the differences and similarities between a chiropractor vs. massage therapist. Understanding what sets them apart from each other will ultimately help you determine which may be best to treat your specific condition.
What Does A Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractic treatment is a hands-on, non-invasive approach designed to restore your natural range of movement. Chiropractors primarily focus on your spine, joints, and overall musculoskeletal system (i.e., ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones).
The main goals of chiropractic care center around pain management, increased strength & mobility, improved recovery times, and easing of chronic conditions. To achieve this, a chiropractor will work with you one-on-one using their hands, props, or movement-based exercises to address the source of your pain.
An experienced chiropractor will work with you to establish a regiment that works with and enhances the effectiveness of any additional treatment you may be receiving for your condition.
When To See A Chiropractor
The best time to see a chiropractor is when you are experiencing issues with movement and mobility. Chronic pain in your spine, pelvis, joints or nervous system are all indicators that a chiropractor may be helpful. Other sensations our patients have come to us for help include muscle aches, numbness, or tingling in the muscles.
If you’re unsure of the cause of your pain, it’s best to see a chiropractor before seeing a massage therapist. Chiropractors have a more extensive educational background in diagnosing issues. They also have years of clinical learning and experience under their belts. They’ll be able to help diagnose the condition and determine if it is safe to see a massage therapist.
What Does A Massage Therapist Do?
The main difference between massage therapists and chiropractors is that massage therapy focuses on a patient’s muscles and soft tissues specifically. As the name implies, various massages are used with oils and lotions to help relieve muscle pain, tension, and stiffness.
The goal of a skilled massage therapist will focus on pain relief and tension reduction. By massaging the muscles, a therapist can improve blood flow to the affected area, which aids recovery.
When To See A Massage Therapist
Massage therapy is a great option when you begin to notice that you have been feeling stressed or tense for a prolonged period. Limited range of motion, chronic headaches, and trouble sleeping can also indicate that massage therapy may benefit you.
So, Which Is Better: Chiropractor or Massage Therapist?
Whether you would benefit most from visiting a massage therapist or a chiropractor depends entirely on your unique situation. Utilizing both can help relieve or prevent pain, injury, tension, loss of mobility, and many other symptoms.
A good rule of thumb is that massage therapy could be just the thing you need if your concern is muscular pain or tension.
If you have been experiencing joint, spinal, or musculoskeletal pain, consulting a chiropractor may be in order. A chiropractor will help better identify the source of this pain and the best treatment options – which may include appointments with a registered massage therapist, specific exercises or modification of activity, or referral to another healthcare professional altogether.
The Benefits Of Seeing Both
When considering which option is best (chiropractor vs. massage therapist) the truth is that the two do go hand-in-hand. We’ve often found that our patients recover much quicker through a thoughtful combination of treatment styles.
Chiropractic care is generally more effective and lasting when a patient’s muscles remain relaxed and loose during therapy sessions. Adding massage therapy to your pre-or post-chiropractic care can help increase the effectiveness of your treatment program.
How Movement Health Can Help
Our team at Movement Health is always here to listen and help! We know trying to diagnose and treat the source of your pain can be challenging at times. That’s why we are committed to working with you one on one in person or virtually to understand your condition and help you along the path to recovery.
If you’ve been living with pain or discomfort like what we have described above, book an appointment with us today or schedule a free telehealth consultation if you have questions before booking your 1st appointment. Our expert team of professionals is on hand to help you find relief.
Until Next Time,