When you have a stiff neck, painful lower back pain, or other muscle aches that don’t get better on their own, where do you turn? Before you schedule an appointment with your regular physician, you may want to consider safe, alternative treatments from massage therapists and chiropractors. There are differences in how each of these professionals approaches aches and pains, and depending on your circumstance, they might be able to give you total pain relief without the need for medication or surgery.
Three Treatment Options For Muscle Pain
Medical Doctors are concerned that the pain you feel is not the result of a serious condition. They may do testing for other possible conditions and, depending on what they find, may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers to lessen inflammation and pain. This offers relief, but drugs simply mask the pain and do not treat the root cause of the pain. They might also recommend surgical intervention, but surgery should always be considered a last resort after you have tried alternative methods such as chiropractic treatment and massage therapy.
Chiropractors present an additional option for treating pain that results from something mechanical in nature rather than muscular. For example, a chiropractor would treat a strained ligament or back pain caused by improper lifting. He will not able to prescribe medication, but he can diagnose ailments, order x-rays, and provide natural treatment such as adjustments of the spine and physical therapy exercises to help you regain mobility.
Massage therapists cannot prescribe medication, but through a series of visits can manipulate muscles and tendons to increase blood flow to the area, break up old scar tissue, loosen the muscles, and relax the body to promote healing. Problems such as muscle spasms, overworked muscles, or other problems related to muscles respond to massage.
How Treatments Differ
Chiropractors believe that when the bones of the spine are out of place, the nerves in the body do not correctly communicate with the brain. By making adjustments with his hands, using an activator or blocks, or putting you on a drop table, the chiropractor aims to restore normal motion and position to the bones and remove pressure on nerves.
Massage therapy aims to reduce pain and stress through hands-on techniques. Massage releases muscle soreness and tightness by reducing trigger points, adhesions, scar tissue, and chronic strain patterns so that the muscles can heal and return to peak performance.
In treating an injury or chronic pain, massage therapy and chiropractic treatment often work together, with or without medication. Both treatment approaches usually require a series of visits. As with a visit to a medical doctor, chiropractic visits are likely to be covered by insurance. If your chiropractor also offers massage therapy onsite and has prescribed it as part of your treatment plan, it may be covered as well.
Massage And Chiropractic Care Working Together
Massage and chiropractic are both noninvasive treatment methods that can be extremely effective when used together. In studies done in 2003, many patients with back pain or general body pain found that massage was more effective than chiropractic, but chiropractic was more effective with upper back pain and neck pain. Other evidence shows that many patients enjoy the relaxing effects of a massage for any pain.
Since massage therapy can warm up muscles, it can be a great beginning and end to a chiropractic adjustment, as it works on soft-tissue which often pulls bones out of alignment. When massage therapy is used in this way, it can help the chiropractor’s work be more long-lasting and prevent any muscle spasms or muscle problems that can result from the adjustment.
For more information about chiropractic treatment and massage therapy, contact Raintree Medical and Chiropractic Center today at 816-623-3020 to request an appointment.
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