When you have back pain, not just a back ache, but back PAIN! All you can think of is “I need some relief.” There in lies the delimma. Who do you turn to, to get the relief you need? Your PCP for medical treatment? A Chiropractor for an adjustment? Your Massage Therapist to relax and stretch out those muscle?
Medical treatments, while offering quick pain relief through medications, do not usually address the underlying cause of the pain. So, while you may feel better for the next few hours, the pain usually returns fairly quickly, and you will need to take more pills.
Chiropractic treatments, first developed by D.D. Palmer in 1895, specifically addresses the disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.
The American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as “a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system and the effects of these disorders on general health.” Chiropractic care focuses on the hard tissue; the spine and joints.
Chiropractors most often use spinal manipulation or adjustment techniques to directly treat the causes of back or neck pain. Other issues may be treated effectively with chiropractic care may include joint pain, headaches, ear infections, tendonitis and tension to name a few. Many of these issues, including back pain happen because of misalignment of the spine, sometimes referred to as a subluxation. Through the hands of a skilled chiropractor, he can manipulate or adjust the bones back into alignment which relieves the pain, and increases the flow of blood and energy through the nervous system.
Massage therapy along with Traditional Chinese Medicine has been practiced for centuries. Some of our earliest written history contains massage therapy. In 722 BC, massage appeared in scripture. Massage therapy targets issues that are muscular in nature dealing with the soft tissues in our bodies. Muscle spasms and overworked areas of tension can benefit from massage as well as pulled or strained muscles. Massage therapy isn’t just a pampering, luxury treatment. It has legitimate medical properties effective in aiding in pain management and recovery.
Consider then that the choice is not between needing a chiropractor and selecting a massage therapist, but a balance of the two working together to help relieve both acute and chronic pain. Massage therapy aids chiropractic care, by acting like a “warm-up” for the body prior to the adjustment. Adjustments last longer when muscle tension is released. Tight muscles can pull the newly aligned joints out of alignment, and massage therapy would address that issue directly. In turn, chiropractic care addresses misalignmentswhich gives immediate relief to the soft tissues that massage therapy specifically prioritizes. Soft tissue heals quicker once the joints have been restored to proper position.
This is a natural and holistic approach to medicine that allows for identification and treatment of pain at its very source. Chiropractic care and massage therapy both seek to offer healing through hands-on, drug free techniques that offer long term benefits. When the two are combined, they compliment the healing process which leads to quicker recoveries, easier adjustments, increased range of motion, and improved circulation. So ask your chiropractor about using massage therapy to help speed you healing process and get rid of that “Pain in the neck” once and for all.
Mark R Davenport, LMT#21910