Many people who deal with ongoing pain from accidents or illnesses may seek out alternative therapies as an adjunct to traditional medical treatment. Chiropractic and massage therapy are just two of the many types of treatments that are available to aid in pain relief and other problems. To determine which of these might be more helpful, consider the benefits of each of these therapies for your particular condition.
Massage therapy is a form of treatment that manipulates the muscles and tissues of the body to improve function and increase general health. Massage has a long history that goes back to ancient China. Massage has a number of different techniques. Swedish massage uses long but soft kneading strokes, with friction, tapping, stroking, kneading and circular movements to relieve muscle tension and increase circulation to the surrounding area. Shiatsu massage uses the fingers on designated “pressure points” to promote the flow of the body’s energy, called “chi.” Thai massage practitioners use their bodies to move the client, using pressure on the muscles, arranging of joints and compression of pressure points. Massage therapy can help with back pain, headache, neck pain, osteoarthritis pain, cancer pain, nausea, swelling, anxiety and daily stress. Generally, people feel a deep sense of relaxation and calm after massage therapy treatments. Massage helps to increase blood flow to injured areas and leaves the person in a relaxed state, with an increased ability to tolerate discomfort.
Chiropractic is a system of manipulation of the bones and muscles to allow optimum alignment. This method can help to relieve the pressure on nerves and muscles that can cause pain and limited mobility. Chiropractic techniques include spinal manipulations that re-align the vertebrae into a better position, manipulation of the extremities, flexing of injured muscles or applying pressure to induce the re-alignment. Though chiropractic treatment does not generally cause pain, some people may experience tenderness in the treated area afterward. This discomfort usually resolves quickly. Education to practice chiropractic therapy includes extensive knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and included nerves. Practitioners often work with doctors and other health professionals to find the best treatments to relieve pain and increase function.
Which is right for you?
Massage therapy benefits those patients with muscle and joint pain or those who suffer from problems associated with muscle tension. In contrast, chiropractic is most beneficial for those with functional problems of the neck and spine and also those with nerve problems in the extremities. In some cases, a combination of these two therapies may be indicated. Your physician will be able to tell you whether massage therapy or chiropractic treatment will be able to help with your particular medical condition.
Finding the Right Treatment For You
Referrals are often important for both types of practitioners. Chiropractors often find that social media is a good way to get their practice known to the public and provides a way of educating the public about what occurs during treatment. Massage therapists also use this new technology to extend their customer base and keep in touch with current clients.