View Full Version : Chiropractor or Massage Therapy?

10-05-2004, 12:21 AM
I need some advice on who to consult. Lately I've been have problems with muscles in my lower back tightening up and not wanting to really relax. I think it's because of the combination of the stiff chairs at work and my bad posture (a bad habit I've had for years). Who should I go to for back muscles -- a chiropractor or a massage person?

10-05-2004, 04:38 AM
You should look at this thread (http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?t=31223) for opinions.

10-05-2004, 05:27 AM
Thank you stan4d.

10-05-2004, 08:42 AM
I don't remember if I got involved in that discussion, but the most important thing to remember about chiropractics is that chiropractors will help realign your body, but they will not teach you how to exercise your body so that you don't revert back to your previous condition. That is, if you have something like poor posture or your deltoids are weak and that's what's causing pain in your shoulder or something, they'll get your spine in alignment, but they aren't going to show you how to exercise those muscles so that you no longer have the problem. The reason is because if they do, they will end up losing you as a customer because you won't have problems anymore.

Someone mentioned a physical therapist. I'd recommend that over a pure chiropractor. They can diagnose the problem, help mend you, and teach you how to avoid getting hurt again. Plus most health insurance will cover physical therapy.

10-05-2004, 09:05 AM
This has been happening to my mid to upper back as of late. I think it is too because of my chair. Also I have been on my computer more than usual. Thank Mouseplanet for that!

10-05-2004, 10:01 AM
Thank god for the ergonomic lady!
At my mom's work, where I worked only for the summer, she came to align my desk/chair/work space. Since having the small session with her, I now know how to set up my work space here at my apartment (both my computer and my sewing machine), and at my school spaces... and I know when to take a break!
Find out if your work can swing anything like that... seriously, any job place where you have to sit in a desk all day long should have someone like this.. it'll save them so much later in the chiropracter bills later!

10-05-2004, 10:20 AM
I don't remember whether or not I posted on that thread either.

My $.02? Go to both. Chiropracter 1st, then the massage therapist.

My insurance covers chiropractics so they also cover my massages as a referal (in office) to a massage therapist. Most chiropracters (that are more than a one man operation) have massage therapists anymore which makes it easy to get them both at the same time.

Hope your back feels better.

Bill Catherall
10-05-2004, 10:21 AM
By the way, I have my first appointment with a physical therapist this afternoon.

10-05-2004, 12:42 PM
I too say both. Try the Chiropractor first, see if he can fix the problem with a few adjustments. If not, then go for massage.

If you have never been to a Chiropractor, you should try it. I firmly believe in it, and I have seen extra benefits. Mr. Pooh has some bulging disks in his low back, he had physical therapy, epidural injections, they were even contemplating surgery (he adamently refused!) Then he went to my chiropractor, they did Xrays, found out he had one leg longer than the other, gave him a $5 lift in his shoe, he is almost symptom free today! He gets stiff every now and again, but knows he either needs an adjustment or a new lift. As a side benefit, he has carpel tunnel that has never been fixed. When he started getting adjusted for his low back the carpel tunnel symptoms mysteriously disappeared.

When Piglet was a baby he had colic. A cousin suggested an adjustment. He got one and never had colic again. Not sure if it was the adjustment or not, but it sure appeared that way!

Anyway, I say try them both, whatever works! Good luck! ;)

10-05-2004, 01:05 PM
I too say both. Try the Chiropractor first, see if he can fix the problem with a few adjustments. If not, then go for massage.Since a few folks have recommended this, I think I should clarify my recommendation.

I didn't say go see a massage therapist. I said go see a physical therapist. A certified physical therapist is not at all like a massage therapist, although physical therapy often includes massage therapy.

Physical therapists have their own professional association (the American Physical Therapy Association (http://www.apta.org/Consumer)), and their work revolves around healing the body. Massage therapists can make a body feel better, but they are not trained to heal something that is broken.

My recommendation for a physical therapist still stands if anyone is feeling out of sorts with their body (specifically having to do with muscles, ligaments, and so on, versus being sick or having a major bone break or something). I won't discount chiropracty, but if you go to see a chiropractor, make sure to supplement it with a physical therapist so you can avoid whatever got you there in the first place.

Once you're well, and you want to maintain good health, then and only then would I recommend a massage therapist.

That said, I know the OP asked for either a chiropractor or a massage therapist. I think both are good, but there's a very important third option (which a physical therapist might help you with, but a fitness trainer would be even better for): There are many reasons your back is out of whack and sore. Two of the biggest causes are 1) Not having an ergonomic environment (bad posture, bad chair, bad level for the monitor, etc.), and 2) Weak back muscles.

You might consider getting an ergo assessment. Then consider developing your core muscles (your abs and back). A daily workout for your abs and back (doesn't have to be long) will do wonders towards curbing lower back ache. If you don't have a trainer you can work with, consider doing Pilates exercises. Of the various types of workouts available in classes and videos, Pilates does the best job of strengthening your core.

10-05-2004, 04:27 PM
Ditto on the "go to both" opinion. They are very complimentary , as it is easier for the chiropractor to get your spine back in place if the muscles being pulled out of whack are loosened up. In fact, many chiropractic offices have a massage therapist right on site just for that reason.

10-07-2004, 04:10 AM
I just found out yesterday that my medical insurance doesn't cover chiropractor services. That means 100% of the costs would be coming straight out of my pocket. Any recommendations for those little massaging gadgets?

10-07-2004, 04:39 AM
I think you should see your doctor and find out about physical therapy. PT may be covered under your insurance.

10-07-2004, 06:26 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with both Lani and stan4d_steph~after enduring a injury and subsequent back surgery, I am so glad I'm working with an excellent PT. I started out with a not-so-good PT, so be careful and be an active participant in your appts.

But, the PT I work with now is amazing. He knows which stretches to show me. He knows what exercises I can and should do. He is a wealth of knowledge about ergonomics and "disk-management" (how you position your body in sitting/standing/bending/lifting). I would highly recommend a good PT for any back issues.

Good luck and hope your back feels better quickly!

02-09-2005, 07:47 PM
I have tried all of the above - chiro., massage, and physical therapy - for my herniated disc with little relief/results. I have heard good things about accupuncture for back problems. Any opinions??

02-09-2005, 09:12 PM
Ohhhh...Mrs G.

Once upon a time, I tried all that you have as well as acupuncture. Even...dun, dun, DUN...cupping. Mr kisroo told me that he almost freaked when he saw my back after a session that involved cupping. Don't let the celebrity version of cupping fool you. It. Hurts. Like. Heck. (and, I looked like an amorous octopus attached it's self to my back.) :eek:

The acupuncture worked on the muscular pain that came along with my back being so tense from all the disc and subsequent sciatic nerve pain.
It really helped me deal with the stress/depression of being in constant pain. It did not help with nerve pain or the numbness in my foot/leg.

Have they talked surgery with you at all? Not that it's a cure-all, but it did take away the majority of my back pain. I'm still dealing with the leg issues and numbness~but that's another story.

Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss. I'm sorry you're having pain. :(

disney jones
02-10-2005, 08:24 AM
i've had some experience with all this - i'd recommend Lani's advice too, and your medical insurance might likely cover a physical therapist.

i like chiropractors and massages as well - do them if you can - they definitely will help.

But to get to the root of an issue like back pain, especially due to excessive computer or desk work, it can be quickly resolved with a light, regular workout to strengthen the upper backand torso.

It first originates from fatigued muscles. the fatigued muscles soon become inflammed, which causes the pain and tightening. the way to overcome the fatigued back muscles is to strengthen them through light weight training.

The Lovely Mrs. tod
02-11-2005, 08:55 PM
Yep, I'm on board with Lani too, she makes good sense here.

And personally, I have used both, but now I prefer massage therapy...I spent most of today moving boxes and furniture in my office and by noon I could feel the pull in my shoulders...I was on the phone for a massage appt immediately. I personally find that a lot of work related muscle aches and stiffness (I too am wedded to a desk chair) are worked out with an hour of various techniques including some deep tissue work.