Almost every day, a patient will ask me about the best time to get a massage. Is it before or after I give them a chiropractic adjustment?
I always consider the role of massage as an adjunct to my chiropractic care in order determine the best time to get a massage along with chiropractic adjustments.
Here are some additional thoughts from an article by Don Girodo, LMT with the Healing Horizon care team in Grand Junction, Colorado. He is a certified massage therapist and specializes in therapeutic, swedish, nepali ayurvedic and himalayan hot stone massage.
Combination of Massage Therapy and Chiropractic Care:
Chiropractic care and massage are two distinct therapies that can be undertaken to relieve problems on the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic care and massage are also often combined to achieve more beneficial results. Chiropractic care involves the alleviation of joint dysfunctions that lead to irritation of the nerves. When the nerves are impinged or irritated, there is significant loss of function which can cause the muscle to tighten around the affected joint. The main aim of chiropractic care is to manage these joint problems in order to manage the nerve and muscle affectations and influence organ system function. However, in some cases of joint dysfunction, the muscles around the joint become so tight, it makes the joint adjustment more difficult. In this line, massage and chiropractic care is combined in order to reduce the muscle spasm, perform joint adjustments, improve joint mobility and manage pain.
Best time for Massage:
There are various points on when is the best time to get a massage along with chiropractic care. This undertaking is based on the professional judgment of massage therapists and chiropractors and also based on the condition of the patients. Massage can be undertaken before and/or after a chiropractic adjustment. Here are the guidelines for you to follow in order to decide the best time to have the massage:
Massage before Chiropractic care:
Massage can be done before a chiropractic adjustment in cases when the person has tight muscles around the joint to be adjusted. When the muscles are tight, it becomes difficult to adjust the joints because of poor access to the joints. Generally, chiropractors recommend a massage before any chiropractic adjustments in order to relieve tight muscles for a more effective joint adjustment. Those who just started chiropractic adjustments may also consider massage first before the therapy to reduce any discomfort while the adjustments are being done. It is important to note that adjustments are usually not painful. However, massage helps alleviate any possible discomfort that might occur.
Massage after Chiropractic care:
Some patients also benefit from getting a massage after a chiropractic adjustment. Doing this also allows the muscles to be relaxed, thereby sustaining the improved alignment of the joints. Those who frequently visit the chiropractor because of recurrent joint problems, it is best to have the massage after the chiropractic treatment. This allows the joint to hold the alignment better -because once the muscles become very tight, tension transfers to the joints and bones.
In regard to the question whether massage should be sought before or after the treatment, it generally depends on your condition and the recommendations of your chiropractor and massage therapist. Generally, it is best to try massage both before and after chiropractic adjustment to see which works better for you.