Even though chiropractors and massage therapists offer different forms of treatment for potentially similar physical issues, these two practitioners aren't necessarily in competition. In fact, many chiropractors will recommend that their patients visit a massage therapist either before or after a chiropractic adjustment. If you're seeking chiropractic care to relieve pain, it's possible that your chiropractor will refer you to a massage therapist who may not be far away — in many cases, massage therapists and chiropractors will work out of the same clinic. Here are some reasons that your chiropractor may send you for a massage.
For Loosening Up A Tight Joint
In some cases, a chiropractor may have a difficult time adjusting a certain joint in your body if the muscles are tight around it. For example, if you're experiencing back pain and a back adjustment is the right approach for your injury, this adjustment may not work if the muscles around the target area are extremely tight. Tight muscles can limit a chiropractor's ability to do his or her work, which is why you may be sent to a massage therapist in advance of your adjustment. The massage therapist will work to loosen the specified muscles, which should allow for greater ease of performing the adjustment.
For Reducing Your Tension
Chiropractic patients who have not had much experience with this form of treatment may be anxious about getting adjusted. All it can take is having a friend or family member tell you that chiropractic care wasn't for him or her, and you may be nervous during your appointments. When you're tense, your muscles will be tight to the point that it's difficult for the chiropractor to adjust your body. This can mean that the adjustment doesn't achieve the desired effect. To help you to relax, your chiropractor may advocate a relaxing massage in advance of your adjustment.
For Maintaining An Adjustment
If you go through a chiropractic adjustment and notice that the pain you experienced before the adjustment returns quickly, you'll likely report this issue to your chiropractor. He or she may believe that the recurrence of pain is due to your muscles pulling the recently adjusted joint out of adjustment quickly. To combat such an issue, the chiropractor may have you go for a massage immediately after the adjustment. This will help the muscles in the affected area to loosen up and prevent them from pulling the joint in an unnatural manner.