The Intersection of Therapeutic Massage and Chiropractic Treatment
Therapeutic massage and chiropractic treatment have a lot in common, especially from a patient’s point of view. For example, both therapies can relieve pain, help you de-stress, and aid in preventing future injuries. So how do you know if you need chiropractic treatment or massage therapy or both?
The answer is that both of these forms of therapy can be very helpful and they complement each other. Whether you’re suffering from a recent or old injury, overdid it with sports or exercise, or are experiencing chronic pain, massage and chiropractic are excellent treatment methods that offer natural and holistic paths of addressing pain.
When performed by a licensed, educated, and experienced provider, massage therapy can provide many benefits. Massage therapists are often able to help with painful trigger points seen in conditions like fibromyalgia, chronically tight muscles, post-surgical adhesions, and generally aching muscles and connective tissue. Massage can also help reduce stress (which often is a major cause of trigger points), and increase blood flow which improves the rate of tissue healing.
Fortunately, British Columbia is one of the provinces that administers licensing for massage therapists. A registered massage therapist (RMT) has passed provincial licensing requirements and has thousands of hours of education and experience. They’ll be able to help you with a variety of problems and complaints. Our RMT’s have been licensed in multiple provinces and are experienced in fascial manipulation and exercise prescription. RMT’s are able to invest significant time working through your painful, restricted tissues and also into neighbouring areas along the kinetic chain that may also be involved, but not necessarily hurting.
Chiropractic medicine focuses mainly on the musculoskeletal system, although the nervous system and other body functions are certainly also included. Chiropractors provide a number of treatment modalities, from adjustments to specialised exercises, designed to correct individual joint mobility, reduce or eliminate pain, and provide education on how to prevent further problems or injuries.
Chiropractors also work with soft tissue – connective tissue, muscles, etc. Our chiropractors are additionally experienced in active and passive forms of MRT (Manual Release Technique), Functional Range Fascial techniques, ischemic compression, Shockwave therapy – all of which can be used to free up myofascial restrictions, improve scar tissue mobility, and soothe trigger points in strained ligaments, tendons, and sore muscles. Chiropractors often don’t get to spend as much time on an area as a massage therapist so treatment is often focused on a specific area.
Keep Your Providers Informed
For those patients that have a serious injury or medical condition, it’s a good idea to receive medical clearance before starting massage therapy. Such clearance can be given by your chiropractor or family doctor and is simply a means to ensure that massage is safe and appropriate for your situation.
If you are seeing a chiropractor and massage therapist, it’s important that you keep both providers informed of your conditions, treatments, symptoms, and progress so that everyone is on the same page working toward a common goal.