How Massage and Chiropractic Care Work Together

3 min read

Chiropractic care works to relieve back pain, neck pain, and other acute or chronic conditions that cause pain throughout the body without medications or surgery.   Over 20 million patients visit a chiropractor each year to receive treatment for an existing pain or to help prevent pain.

Chiropractic care and massage work well together since they are focused on treating different systems of the body to achieve the same types of results: pain relief and preventing chronic pain. Chiropractors focus on the musculoskeletal and nervous system while a massage therapist targets the surrounding soft tissues.

What is Chiropractic Care?

A chiropractor is looking for the root cause of the problem. It’s common for leg, foot, and even arm pain to be caused by compressed nerves surrounding the spine. Once the source of the pain is identified, the chiropractor can use several treatment and therapies as part of an overall treatment plan including:  adjustments, cold laser therapy, decompression, electrical muscle stimulation for the spine and/or knee, needling, and other non-surgical options.

Chiropractic adjustments often target hard tissue in the back like joints, bones, and vertebrae. One of the ways a chiropractor can help relieve pain is to manipulate vertebrae or joints that aren't functioning normally. This manipulation can increase your range of motion and relieve painful pressure from compressed nerves. Some chiropractic treatments target joints. These joints are strongly affected by the stiffness of the surrounding muscles.

Sometimes an adjustment is not needed and other non-surgical technologies can be used such as using cold laser therapy to increase blood flow to an area of the body that has pain and needs to be relaxed. Or, in the case of back and knee pain decompression methods can be used to stretch the joints or the back to help reduce pain caused by nerves that are being pinched.

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage works in a similar fashion to other chiropractic services in the way it promotes healing without medicine or invasive treatments. During massage therapy, a certified massage therapist targets the soft tissues (tendons, ligaments, muscles, and skin) of the body, especially near the area supporting or surrounding an injury or source of pain. Using varying amounts of pressure, your therapist manipulates soft tissue to promote healing, relax muscles, and increase range of motion.

 The use of massage stimulates large nerve fibers and increases blood flow and oxygen to promote faster healing. Massage also works to decrease stiffness, increase flexibility, and promote general relaxation.

The Benefits of Combining Massage With Chiropractic Care

Treatment of the soft tissues with massage makes it easier for the chiropractic treatment plan to begin taking effect. When both treatments are used (sometimes in the same day and sometimes on separate days),  the healing can take effect sooner and may help the treatment last longer.

Some benefits of using massage and chiropractic care together include:

  • Faster recovery. The increased circulation provides essential nutrients to the surrounding tissues which help promote healing.
  • Increased range of motion. Stiff muscles and tendons pull against joints, disturbing alignment. Relaxing these tissues through massage can help increase your range of motion.
  • Easier adjustment. Relaxing the soft tissues surrounding joints helps to make bones and joints easier to manipulate.
  • Improved circulation. Increasing circulation through massage stimulates healthy muscle function.

Both treatments work to increase mobility, reduce pain, and restore the function of joints and vertebrae. Since the musculoskeletal system and soft tissue are so closely related, treating them together increases the effects of both services. The combination of chiropractic care and massage can be used to treat back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, knee pain, back pain, and joint injuries. These techniques may also be used in the improvement of posture.

If you are in pain and seeking relief without surgery, contact us to schedule an appointment at our office in The Woodlands. For more information on the services available at Village Chiropractic, visit our treatment page.

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