How Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Ease Sore Muscles

What is best for you, chiropractic or massage therapy? How about both? Combining two different approaches to treat sore muscles and other medical ailments can speed up your recovery time. In fact, recent polls show people use both massage and chiropractic therapy for back pain, osteoarthritis, cholesterol, depression, insomnia and prostate problems.

Chiropractic and massage therapy help to reduce aches and improve mobility. Together, chiropractic and massage facilitate a more complete and effective system of health care. Whether you need to treat back pain or align your spine for efficient running, learn how these two therapies work together to help you maintain optimum health and quality of life.

More: Sports Therapy: 3 Ways to Rehab an Injury

Chiropractic Treatment

Over the last half-century, chiropractors were regarded by some as "quack doctors" or "snake-oil salesmen." Today, according to recent studies, chiropractors are the third largest group of health care providers, after physicians and dentists.

Chiropractic therapy focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and nervous system. Unlike massage therapy, chiropractic treatment addresses the hard tissue such as the spine and other joints. Chiropractors chose drug-free, hands on approaches that include patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. They are trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises and often use massage to warm up the soft tissue supporting the joints. Many clients use chiropractors to treat headaches, back discomfort, neck pain, sore muscles, and arm and leg joint issues.

More: How Sports Chiropractors Prevent Injury in Runners

The most common technique used for treatment is called spinal manipulation or a chiropractic adjustment. To restore joint mobility the chiropractor manually applies controlled force to the joints that have become restricted in their movement. Limited range of motion results from tissue damage most often caused by either a single traumatic event, like lifting a heavy object, or by repetitive stresses, like poor posture or repetitive movements. Some people feel mild soreness or aching after an adjustment, but it typically goes way in 12 to 48 hours.

Chiropractors are authorized to make medical diagnosis, and order x-rays or blood work. They can also sell supplements or homeopathic remedies and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. Chiropractors cannot prescribe conventional medication.

More: The Benefits of Acupuncture for Athletes

  • 1
  • of
  • 2

About the Author

Laura Waite

Laura Waite is a yoga teacher and certified massage therapist in Dana Point, California.
Laura Waite is a yoga teacher and certified massage therapist in Dana Point, California.

Discuss This Article