Benefits of Combining Massage Therapy & Chiropractic Care
Massage therapy and chiropractic care are both fantastic treatments for relieving pain, restoring mobility, and increasing overall health. When used together, these compatible therapies extend the health and wellness benefits of each treatment, benefiting the patient in a variety of ways. Massage therapy deals with the soft tissues, where chiropractic focuses on the nervous system, the musculoskeletal structure, and hard tissues. Knowing how these treatments work together can greatly improve your musculoskeletal function, thus improving your overall health. Our health professionals at Hopkins Health have compiled a list of benefits our patients receive from combining both treatments. Please continue reading below.
Massage Prepares the Muscles for Chiropractic Adjustments
Massage therapy focuses on manipulating the soft tissues like muscles, tendons, and ligaments by improving circulation and blood flow that warms these soft tissues, causing them to loosen and relax. To do this, our experienced therapists apply light, moderate, or deep rhythmic hand and arm movements that help alleviate muscle pain and ache, while increasing flexibility. Using a variety of massage techniques, therapeutic massage improves circulation, decreases muscle tension and stiffness, and promotes relaxation. Increasing circulation delivers oxygen and nutrients that stimulate healthy muscle function, which promotes healing, reduces pain, and can prevent future injuries. This process helps muscles dispose of lactic acid that gathers in our muscles, often causing painful muscle spasms and stiffness. Additionally, massage therapists often incorporate stretching, herbal remedies, and aromatherapy into their treatments. A therapist’s healing touch encourages relaxation, while decreasing muscle ache associated with tension and spasms, leaving you feeling less tense and rejuvenated.
Chiropractic Before or After Massage
While massage therapy focuses on the soft tissues, chiropractic care centers on the nervous system and musculoskeletal dysfunction related to hard tissues like the spine, bones, and joints. Because these hard tissues are surrounded by muscles, tendons, and ligaments, tight muscles pull joints out of alignment. Warming, loosening, and relaxing the soft tissues before a chiropractic adjustment helps the bone structures adjust more easily, as tight muscles can sometimes make it difficult to manipulate hard tissues. Because chiropractors perform more extensive physical examinations, make medical diagnoses, order x-rays, MRIs, and other tests, they can help massage therapists identify and treat specific musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Receiving chiropractic care either before or after a therapeutic massage increases the effectiveness of both treatments, improving range of motion, promoting faster healing, extending the length of both treatment benefits, and improving overall function.
Psychological Benefits of Both Treatments
As already mentioned, massage therapy encourages relaxation, decreases stress, and reduces anxiety. These benefits are helpful prior to receiving chiropractic care so that the body is less tense, and the patient is relaxed and calm, which aids the chiropractic treatment.