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Massage Therapy vs. the Chiropractor - Which is Right for You?

By Brian Acton

There are many different forms of therapy and treatment for pain – including pain management, alternative treatment, and specialist care. When a specific part of your body starts hurting you’ll want to pick the treatment that’s right for you – and if you want a natural approach to pain relief, you’re likely considering massage therapy or visits to a chiropractor. While both practices can provide healing and pain relief to the body, their approaches are different and the pain they treat can be different, too. Read on to learn what each treatment is for, and which you may want to use for your specific physical circumstances. Massage Therapy Massage therapists are licensed professionals who have typically completed hundreds of hours of training and education (requirements vary from state to state). A massage therapist’s area of focus is solely the muscles. Muscle soreness, spasms, and muscle tension are conditions that are served by massage therapists. Massage therapists are not licensed to work directly on the spine, prescribe drugs, or diagnose medical conditions. However, massage therapy can help spinal health, as soft tissue massage can treat spinal alignment and lower back pain. If your issue is mainly muscular in nature – and a good doctor can help you determine if this is the case – a massage therapist may be the way to go. The benefits of massage therapy are varied, but include: relaxation, reduced soreness or muscle tension, aiding blood flow, and reducing anxiety. Chiropractor Chiropractors are fully licensed medical doctors who have completed a doctorate program in chiropractic care. They can perform many procedures massage therapists cannot, and can treat joints, perform spinal adjustments, make medical diagnoses and prescribe medication. Chiropractors can also refer you to other specialists and order x-rays, blood work, or other diagnostic procedures to help get to the root of patient conditions. You should consult a chiropractor if your issue is more of a serious condition – or if you need help diagnosing your condition. A chiropractor can help figure out the nature of your condition, and can treat your spine and joints if necessary. They also can refer you to a massage therapist if they believe this treatment could be beneficial. Choosing the Right Professional Generally, you should seek a massage therapist if your pain and soreness is more superficial in nature and concerns your muscles. You should seek a chiropractor if your issue is deeper – concerning your spine, joints, or other aspects of your musculoskeletal system. If you’re not sure of the nature of your condition, you may wish to consult your regular doctor if you’re suffering from aches and pains – they may be able to direct you to the right treatment. In fact, you may even end up seeing both – chiropractors often recommend massage therapy as part of ongoing treatment for aches and pains or spinal alignment issues. No matter what professional you end up seeing, taking steps to find the right treatment can make a world of difference for the well-being of your body and mind.   Sources: http://www.100percentchiropractic.com/the-difference-between-chiropractic-and-massage-therapy/ http://blog.integracareclinics.com/blog/when-you-need-a-chiropractor-vs.-when-you-need-a-massage
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