People often call us and say “I don’t know if I need chiropractic treatment or a massage”. The answer is – you probably need both. Because Chiropractic treatment and massage go together like movies and popcorn. So why is that? And should you have the massage first, or the chiro?
Why Massage and Chiro go together
Our bodies are made up of a complex system of soft tissue, muscles, tendons and bones, all working together to provide strength and mobility. This is known as the muscular-skeletal system. In broad, basic terms, Chiropractic treatment generally addresses the function of joints, while massage works the soft tissue and muscle that holds those joints in place. If either is not working properly, it will have a negative impact on the ability of the other to operate optimally. Having both treatments maximizes the effectiveness of both – so the sum of the parts ends up being greater than the whole.
Massage Before or After Chiro?
This is a tricky one. On the one hand, having Chiro first allows the massage therapist to manipulate your muscles around the newly adjusted joints, ensuring they do not pull the bones out of alignment. On the other hand, having a massage before Chiro relaxes all the muscles, which allows for a more effective adjustment of the joints. In the end, the best course of action is to talk to your Chiropractor and ask what would be most beneficial for your own specific circumstances.
When to have one and not the other
Whilst Chiro and massage treatments complement one another perfectly sometimes, it is not appropriate to do both at the same time:
- If you have an acute injury with a great deal of instability, pain and/or swelling it may not appropriate to have a massage in the early stages of treatment
- Sometimes your practitioner will suggest alternating Chiropractic and massage appointments in order to avoid extended gaps between appointments, especially when you are pressed for time
- Certain conditions – such as the early stages of pregnancy – can be contraindicated for some treatments
As with most things, the best course of action is to find a practitioner you trust, and follow their advice. Sometimes life will get in the way and you won’t be able to follow the optimum treatment plan to the letter. But if you and your practitioner communicate honestly, you will find a balance that works for you.
If you think you might need chiropractic and/or massage treatment, call our Baulkham Hills Clinic on 9639 7337 to make an appointment.