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Posted on 06-19-2015

When you experience any type of back pain, you feel grumpy, frustrated, and tender. You know that you need fast and effective relief. You've heard so many different things about massage therapists and chiropractors, but you don't know who to turn to for help.

Did you know that different back pains and injuries mean that you need to consult a specific person for pain relief? Massage therapists can only relieve certain types of pain while chiropractors alleviate others. Before you schedule an appointment for a massage or chiropractic adjustment, you should probably know which type of care eases which pains.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapists use their hands to manually handle and maneuver the muscle, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and nerves in your body. Deep tissue, medical, or therapeutic massages can often relieve the pain you feel from less severe pain or injury.

Situations Suitable for Massage Therapy

If most of your back pain is stress or anxiety related, try massage therapy to soothe your pain. Additionally, many different health conditions or injuries cause pain and discomfort, and these conditions create a necessity for a massage therapist's healing hands. Health conditions or injuries that cause body pain include:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Joint inflammation
  • Light sprains
  • Minor sports or work injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cancer 
  • Other chronic illness

If you experience on or more of these illnesses or minor traumas, you might want to consult a massage therapist to soothe your discomfort. However, severe injuries require chiropractic care over massage therapy.

Chiropractic Care

A chiropractic adjustment is a procedure that allows a skilled specialist, known as a chiropractor, to use their hands or small instruments to apply regulated and immediate force to a pain-afflicted area. This process is called an adjustment or spinal manipulation. The procedure corrects your body's physical functions and structural alignment.

Chiropractors are a great resource if you suffer from constant back pain or any pain caused by injury. However, you should not receive chiropractic care if you have conditions such as cancer, chronic arthritis, slipped or herniated disks, or unstable spines. That being said, chiropractic care works wonders on other injuries and conditions.

Injuries or Conditions That Require Chiropractic Care

If you've been injured or suffer from a chronic ailment that causes you immense amounts of back pain, book an appointment with a chiropractor. Unlike massage therapists, however, chiropractors care for musculoskeletal conditions rather than just muscle and nerve pain. These specialists treat a range of injuries and problems, including:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Car, sports, or work injuries
  • Chronic tendonitis
  • Damage to joints, ligaments, and muscles
  • Fractured bones (ankles, elbows, knees, shoulders, spine, etc.)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Scoliosis
  • Stress fractures
  • Whiplash

However, even though a chiropractor can help you with the conditions listed above, the best pain treatment involves avoiding situations that cause it. We'll discuss what causes common musculoskeletal problems below.

Causes for Injuries and Pain

Even if you don't think you do, you might work or live in an environment that causes back pain. You might even participate in sports or other vigorous activities that cause minor or severe injuries. Or maybe you recently experienced a car accident. Many stressors can contribute to the aches and ailments listed above.

  1. Chronic tendonitis. If you regularly overextend or overstress the tendons in your body, you probably suffer from chronic tendonitis. You can develop chronic tendonitis if you repeat stressful movements over and over, exercise sporadically or in poor conditions, or use inadequate equipment as you exercise.
  2. Headaches and migraines. Chronic or severe headaches and migraines often debilitate you, spreading into your jaw, your neck, and even your shoulder. Your work quality and efficiency are often compromised when you experience one of these disabling head pains. Conditions that cause these headaches and migraines include:
  • Poor posture
  • Dental problems
  • Ear infections
  • Eye strain
  • Lack of sleep
  • Overuse of pain medication
  • Pressure from glasses or tight-fitting headgear
  • Sinus infections
  • Skipped meals
  • Stress
  • The flu

3. Work injuries. You hope to never injure yourself at work. However, work injuries sometimes happen, and you need to receive the proper care to either relieve pain or heal the injury. The workplace causes a surprising number of injuries in employees. You can slip, trip, get into a car accident, or even walk into objects (like walls, windows, doors, tables, or chairs).

No matter how you injure yourself or what conditions you develop, you still must receive adequate treatment to feel any pain relief.

Treatment to Choose

You should first determine your pain's cause before you choose to visit a massage therapist or a chiropractor. If your pain is more muscle and nerve based, you might consider a massage therapist. Chiropractors are perfect for any bone damage or injury that involves both muscle and bone.

Remember that the care you choose greatly depends on the type of injury you've received or the pain you feel. Look for chiropractors or massage therapists near you to treat your pains and injuries as soon as possible. You'll get professional care or treatment and feel relieved of any pain you experience from accidents or chronic illnesses.

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