I get asked this question a lot and in my opinion depending on your condition you should see both. Massage and chiropractic are complementary to one another. Muscles attach to bones and vertebrae and when a muscle is tight it can pull vertebrae and even ribs out of place, or out of “alignment” as they say in chiropractic.
I was very blessed to work with a very educational chiropractor right out of college. He was not only educational to his patients but to the staff members as well. Having been a patient of chiropractic since I was a child I was very familiar with chiropractic treatment. One day I asked him “how come you don’t use an activator like many chiropractors do?” his reply was “that is why I have you.” A massage before a chiropractic adjustment can loosen the muscles and make it easier for the chiropractor to adjust you.
I fully understand the concerns people may have about chiropractic and I will admit there are some chiropractors that I would never recommend and others that I highly recommend. What I look for when I get chiropractic care is, did the chiropractor listen to my history and treat my individual needs or did the chiropractor simply give me the standard adjustment (or cookie cutter adjustment as I call it) and send me on my way? Did the Chiropractor take the time to feel the vertebrae and assess me before the adjustment? Does the chiropractor educate the client in self care?
Similar questions should be applied when seeking a massage therapist, does the therapist listen to and address your needs and concerns? Does the therapist treat each client based on their individual needs or simply apply a structured routine? Does your massage therapist take the time to educate you on self care?
While it is not uncommon to have a “spontaneous adjustment” in areas of the neck or back with a massage treatment a massage therapist does not adjust and is not allowed to adjust a client. Massage focuses on the muscles and when the muscles relax or are manipulated during a massage sometimes bones or joints that are being pulled by those muscles will fall back into place naturally, that is not the same as an adjustment.
Also keep in mind that a chiropractor can also order further testing such as MRI’s and xrays to get a better understanding of the problem whereas a massage therapist cannot.
In short I believe that chiropractic and massage therapy go hand in hand. If you are trying to decide between the two then perhaps you should consider both.
Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist