Would It Be Better To Get a Massage Or Visit a Chiropractor?

A recent study established that between 60 and 80% of individuals are plagued with back pain. The study further showed that back pain is among the most common reasons why people visit physicians.

In many cases, an alternative approach to these conditions involves having an appointment with a chiropractor or having massage therapy. These two approaches are effective in reducing back pain.

But now the question is – Would It Be Better to Get a Massage or Visit a Chiropractor? Understanding the basic differences that exist between these two approaches will help you choose the most appropriate therapy for your certain needs.

A woman enjoying a massage session; image source: pexels.com

Chiropractic Care

This is a treatment offered by a Chiropractic Doctor (D.C.). This is an individual fully trained and certified having gone through a specified university training. Basically, the therapy encompasses manipulation and alteration of the musculoskeletal system, consisting of the following

  • Muscles
  • Spine
  • Tendons
  • Joints

The primary focus of the treatment is the alignment of an individual’s spine and certain joints. To relieve pain, the physician can use either his or her hand or a specially designed chiropractic adjustment device for pressure control within the affected parts. Since the main area of focus is the spine, examination often requires X-rays. It is also possible to use other lab examinations to analyze the affected parts.

You need to be very careful about this treatment since the spinal cord serves as an extension of the entire nervous system, passing information in the whole body. For this reason, you need professional therapy for spinal related conditions. Contingent on your status, the chiropractor may have to work with your personal or family physician to make sure healing takes place.


Massaging refers to the act of rubbing and kneading of the body muscles using fingers or other specialized tools. The main reason for this therapy is to promote muscle relaxation and pain relief. The person who is fully certified and licensed to offer massages is referred to as a massage therapist.

The individual must undergo full training and pass a licensing examination to be allowed to work as a therapist. Why? Well, massaging is sensitive, just like chiropractic treatment. The following are the common types of massages:

  • Sports massage
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Body massage
  • Prenatal massage
  • Shoulder massage
  • Aromatherapy massage

Even though the main focus is muscle relaxation, each type of massage therapy is designed to attain this objective differently. The therapies can also be customized, a feature that has contributed to the increased popularity of the treatment. A sports massage is meant for individuals who constantly participate in sports or workouts. It has been found to boost recovery from injuries and relieve muscles from pain. How is this achieved?

A sports massage, especially post-workout, increase the flexibility of the muscles. The main cause of pain is often muscle stiffness. A massage increases suppleness and this helps to reduce pain. Besides, massage increases the flow of blood to the affected muscles. The supply of oxygen and nutrients needed to rebuild cells facilitates recovery from injury. Prenatal massage is designed for expectant women who want to relax their body and lessen pain due to body changes within gravidity period. This one is a bit critical and many therapists will avoid it for fear of liability, especially in the first trimester. Aromatherapy is a type of body massage, only that the oil used is scented.

Several studies have established that massage therapy is very effective in reducing back pain. As we mentioned at the outset, the reason why many citizens visit physicians is because of back pain. A properly conducted massage helps to address this condition.

In light of the above, massage therapy is something nice. It facilitates healing, boosts blood circulation, and enhances pain relief among other benefits. You only need to be careful with where you go for the therapy. As we mentioned at the outset, it is very important to ensure that you are dealing with a certified and fully licensed therapist to get the best services.

Massage or Chiropractic?

To this point, you have all the basics about the two treatments. The question that remains is – which way to go? Making a choice here is not as hard as it may appear. Let us be more precise…

Chiropractic therapy should be considered when the goal is to address the conditions of the nervous system or around the musculoskeletal system. The therapy deals with hard tissues such as joints and spine. See a chiropractor in case the cause of pain is an overwrought ligament, inappropriate posture, anything a little bit more mechanical in form. Having the very same motions repeatedly, such as back listing rather than using knees, is a routine that can cause back pain due to pulling of the muscles and joints out of position. This problem can be perfectly addressed by a chiropractor who will reposition the muscles and joints to their right positions. You will be given several exercises to carry out at home to stop bad habits and fortify your muscles. The simple exercise will deter the chances of being injured again.

On the contrary, use massage therapy if the main cause of the pain has to do with muscles. For instance, it could be muscle spasm, overstraining muscles, or such problems. These conditions can be addressed very effectively through massage therapy. The therapist will help loosen the affected muscles and enhance the flow of blood. This will facilitate quick recovery. Besides, the therapist will help draft a schedule that can perfectly work for you, depending on your condition. Basically, therapists are well-trained and can help deal with other related issues including hamstrings.

The Bottom Line

Massage and chiropractic care an essential treatment that helps deal with certain body conditions. We have discussed in detail how each one can be used. Which one should you consider first? Well, it will depend on the cause of pain.

However, we suggest you first try chiropractic to readjust the spine and supplement it with massage therapy. We wish you the best. Thank you!


Revision 19.10.2020 – dead link removed


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