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Chiropractor vs. Massage Therapy: What’s the Difference?

Written by: Lamark Media
January 24, 2017
When you’re suffering from back pain, you may be self-treating with over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen and cold packs. But when the pain becomes too much, you might be wondering what else you can do to find pain relief.

Two options include chiropractic care and massage therapy. While chiropractors and masseuses use their hands to treat patients, there is a drastic difference between the two. Still, the therapies go hand-in-hand as many chiropractors will recommend massage therapy along with chiropractic care. Some chiropractic offices also have a masseuse available for patients.

Similarities and Differences

In the scope of visiting a chiropractor vs. a masseuse, there are many similarities and differences. As previously mentioned, both use their hands to help patients. They also:

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

So, what are the differences between massage therapists and chiropractors?

Chiropractors perform direct manipulations of the spine and joints, and receive much more training than massage therapists. Chiropractors must have an undergraduate degree and a doctorate of a chiropractic program.

Massage therapists focus on manipulating soft tissues, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They are not licensed to adjust the spine or other joints.

Chiropractors can make medical diagnoses and request x-rays and/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 address disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Some common issues chiropractors can help with include joint pain, headaches, ear infections, tendonitis, and tension.

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

Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy

Ultimately, a balance of the two can help patients suffering from chronic pain. Massage therapy can help loosen up the muscles prior to or after an adjustment. Additionally, a back adjustment can last longer when muscle tension is released.

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

If you’re in need of a back adjustment or are seeking massage therapy, contact a ChiroCare office to schedule an appointment. Our doctors can determine the underlying cause of your pain and provide a course of treatment that can include massage therapy.

Call 1-877-DRRIGHT.

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