Are you trying to decide whether to see someone for sports massage or chiropractic treatment?
Rather than using one without the other, you might find that combining the two can give you better results.
There’s an increasing collaboration of sports massage and chiropractic practitioners in one team. Plenty of clinics offer both services.
Sports massage is a hands-on therapy (also known as manual therapy). It typically involves relative firm pressure. The practitioner’s focus is to improve function or relieve pain, working on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or fascia.
A sports massage may also involve other hands-on techniques. The practitioner might use stretches or techniques known as “muscle energy” or neuro-facilitation techniques.
This is nothing to do with the “energy” some alternative health practitioners use when working with people. Sports massage is an orthodox approach to pain relief and functional improvements to the musculoskeletal system.
Sports Massage Prevents Problems
Sports massage can be useful in a range of painful conditions, as well as for preventing injury. Before and after most long-distance endurance events such as marathons have a sports massage team offering pre or post-event massages.
These pre or post-event massages are designed to aid recovery, prevent injury and improve performance. Their massage and stretching techniques help to make the muscles more supple before an event and loosen them after. They improve circulation and feel great when you’ve finished your race or cycle ride.
Not Just for Sports People
Although it’s called “Sports Massage” you don’t have to be a sportsperson to benefit.
Some practitioners stick to working in a clinic, or based at home and never work at any sporting events. Many people like the deeper, firmer techniques classically associated with sports massage. Some people like this type of firmer massage to help their relaxation. Most however use sports massage to help ease their aches and pains.
Chiropractic is a regulated profession. That means you can’t use the term unless you’re properly trained and registered. They have to undergo university education to qualify and keep up with continued professional development (CPD).
Chiropractic is the name of the profession. They use a range of techniques and treatments to help people. As part of their university training or their CPD, they learn massage and sports massage techniques.
Chiropractors are most well known for their joint manipulation techniques. Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) can result in the cracking or popping of joints. It used to be thought that the joints were being realigned, but now we understand the pop or click is due to gasses being released in the joint.
Some chiropractors also carry out massage techniques as well as SMT.
Chiropractic treatments generally don’t take as long as a sports massage treatment. So it can be harder for them to carry out the sports massage techniques that the patient might need.
As well as carrying out some massage themselves, some chiropractors also work alongside a sports massage therapist in the same clinic. They work together to help the patients. However, having multiple different practitioners in one clinic may seem confusing.
You Can Have Massage and Chiropractic Together
You can see two different practitioners for massage and chiropractic.
If you have both types of treatments (massage and chiropractic) then it’s important that you let both practitioners know. The massage and chiropractic practitioner might want to work together, discussing your case so they can best help you.
Perhaps find a clinic where they work together.
Both practitioners can work synergistically on the same problem, or to help prevent a problem.