​How to Know If You Need a Massage or a Chiropractor

massage or chiropractor
Photo by Toa Heftiba

Experiencing body pain as we age is only natural. Some of us just deal with it and wait for the pain to go away on its own. Others may try a treatment at home. Maybe your pain is so severe you are curious about your professional health options. If that’s the case, you've probably contemplated massage therapy or a visit to a chiropractor. These are both popular solutions, but how do you know which one is better for your needs?

When to Get a Massage

If you have sore muscles and want a more relaxing experience, seek out a massage therapist. The primary benefits of getting regular massages in her eyes are pain relief, mobility, and relaxation. Massages can also improve sleep and even boost your mood.

Massage therapy involves applied pressure directly to soft tissue and muscle groups. This process relieves pain in a longer and often more relaxing way.

Monique Waters is a massage therapist in Overland Park, Kansas who has been practicing for 10 years. She swears by massages and regularly gets them done herself.

“Massage is preventative," she said. "The goal is to avoid you getting to a place of pain and managing the health of one’s body. It’s about wellness." Waters added that getting a massage once a month should be a minimum and has clients come in up to twice a week.

When to See a Chiropractor

If you’re looking to treat pain in the spine, joints, or tendons a chiropractor is probably the way to go. These pains tend to be easier to pinpoint rather than being a broad pain spread out across the body.

Chiropractic treatment is completed by a professional who adjusts your body specifically focusing on the system that includes the spine, tendons, muscles, and joints. They apply controlled pressure to any areas on the body that may need some work.

Dr. Rick Connolly-Walker is a chiropractor in Overland Park, Kansas who has been practicing for 16 years. He explained that getting regular adjustments helps ensure the spine is aligned properly. This makes the body function the way it is meant to which allows people to get through their day without pain.

You’ll know when it’s time to see a chiropractor if you listen to your body. “You can't always know when the pain will happen, but the body will typically not go from a zero-pain scale to a higher degree without warning," he explained. "We are not always able to catch those sudden pains, however, most times there will be a gradual increase in pain. That is when the body is trying to tell you it is time for an adjustment."

The Bottom Line: You Need Both

Both Waters and Dr. Connolly-Walker believe that massage therapy and chiropractic care go well together. Getting a massage prior to a chiropractic adjustment is a great choice and is what Dr. Connolly-Walker advises his clients.