chiropractor vs massage session between professional and woman
Health and Wellness

Differences & Advantages of Chiropractor vs Massage

Jul 13, 2023

There are a few significant differences between hiring a chiropractor vs massage therapist. Both of these processes help people in pain get a level of relief. However, what works for one person might not necessarily work for someone else. On occasion, massage and chiropractic care can work together to provide relief from pain as well as provide relaxation to a client. In this post, we'll examine the differences and advantages of a chiropractor vs massage therapy to help you determine which is better suited for your needs.

The Focus of Chiropractor vs Massage Treatment

While both massage and chiropractic adjustments seek to relieve the client's pain and discomfort, their focus methodology is vastly different. Chiropractic care focuses on correcting structural misalignments, especially of the spine. Massage therapy, on the other hand, focuses on soft tissues, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Using practical methods, massage can promote relaxation, improve circulation, and relieve muscle tension. It’s important to note that massage therapy can benefit from chiropractic treatment and improve response time.

Results Vary With Massage vs Chiropractor

The approach of massage vs chiropractor is different, and that's because the problems they aim to solve also tend to fall into different categories. 

Chiropractors are useful in helping with the following:

  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Joint Pain

Conversely, massage is better for dealing with these conditions:

  • Muscle Tension
  • Stress Relief
  • Sports Injuries
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Relaxation

Chiropractors and massage therapists can both be very useful in helping their clients deal with the pain associated with their conditions. If you’re already suffering from back pain, we offered some advice previously on how to prevent it from getting worse.

The Ways Massage and Chiropractic Services Can Help

Choosing which method is more practical for you is a personal choice. Learn whether chiropractor vs massage, holistic approaches, or professional expertise is more preferable by exploring the following:

1. Duration of Relief

One of the most significant factors affecting chiropractor vs massage therapy is the time relief lasts. In some cases, chiropractic care may bring about instant relief.  

A chiropractor deals with musculoskeletal problems that can be dealt with for a more significant period. However, it usually takes several intense sessions to get relief from this sort of treatment. Duration of relief after a chiropractic visit can last for as little as a few hours up to a few days.  

Massage therapy treats moving parts that will get sore over time with use. Massage therapy provides temporary comfort and relaxation; the time this lasts will vary from person to person. The difference in duration often comes down to what conditions are treated regarding massage vs chiropractor. 

2. Frequency of Treatment

Unlike acupuncture or massage, chiropractic care varies depending on how often a person needs it. Depending on the severity of the condition, a person may need more intense chiropractic visits over their treatment period. Conversely, a person can choose when they get treatment with massage therapy. Usually, this personal preference relies on when they feel like they need that relaxation. However, some massage treatments should fall under a strict schedule, especially if dealing with a specific condition. When considering massage vs acupuncture, massage has more physical interaction, while acupuncture does not.

3. Both Provide a Holistic Approach

Both massage or acupuncture can deliver holistic health benefits, but chiropractic care may also allow for a holistic approach to healing.

Professional chiropractic care considers overall wellness as part of its core values. As a result, it considers elements such as nutrition alongside its physical treatment. Acupuncture and massage look at holistic physical treatment, however, when considering acupuncture vs massage therapy, the former usually involves less solid principles than the latter. Massage is a much more direct way of addressing muscle pain and has both physical and mental components far more interactive than acupuncture, with full-body massages helping to reduce stress in a more relaxed setting. .

Professional Expertise

When comparing the level of training and professional expertise while looking at a chiropractor vs massage therapist, there's a distinct difference in the fields. 

Both fields require a license to perform the tasks involved in their professions. However, chiropractors tend to have an overarching qualification. At the same time, massage therapists may decide on individual specializations (Shiatsu, Swedish, etc.) and do continued professional development over the time they are in the field. 

This does not mean a massage therapist is more qualified than a chiropractor. Instead, it speaks to how complex the field of massage can be.

Massage and Chiropractor Do-it-Yourself Options

Massage therapists are easily accessible in many establishments, but innovations in massage chair design are leading many to consider a massage chair at home. With multiple massage techniques built in, some massage chairs use the power of AI to deliver at-home treatments that complement recovery or personal needs. These chairs can offer an at-home massage comparable to that delivered by a professional masseuse. What's more, massage chairs have made it easier for individuals wanting a massage but not wanting to leave the comfort of home. Chiropractic care, however, requires a visit to a licensed professional.

Treatment Costs for Massage vs Chiropractor

The cost of treatment for massage vs chiropractic care varies. 

A chiropractic visit is usually charged per session and often requires several sessions to properly align issues with the client's musculoskeletal system to reduce or remove their pain. Massages can be done in single or multi-session visits, but they are more of a voluntary approach to pain management. A person may simply want to experience relaxation when booking a massage session. Massage sessions may be less expensive than chiropractic sessions. Both massage and chiropractor professionals also do at-home visits, but these visits may cost significantly more than simply going to the professional. 

Buying a luxury massage chair may be a cost-effective method of managing pain, as we’ve explored before in our post about buying a luxury massage chair.

Insurance Coverage

Health insurance is already complicated enough to explore, but since both of these are beneficial to health, a client may assume that they are covered under their insurance plan. Unfortunately, this isn't usually the case. While health insurance may cover some chiropractic treatment, in most cases, it doesn't. Insurance coverage for chiropractic care varies based on the plan and the insurance provider. Similarly, with massage treatment, health insurance may not cover the costs of a session. Even in cases where massage therapy is mandated as a recovery option by a medical professional, insurance may only cover some of the cost per session.

Which Is The Option For Me?

Whether you decide on chiropractic care or massage therapy is entirely your decision. If you're in pain, the first step is getting a talking to your doctor to determine if massage and chiropractic care is okay for you. Muscle soreness, tension, and stress are better dealt with through massage therapy, whereas structural damage and defects can be fixed or managed through chiropractic care. 

You could opt for an at-home masseuse if you're just looking for relaxation. However, on-demand massages from a modern massage chair are much more cost-effective over the long run. We’ve made it easy to compare massage chairs to choose one that suits your style and needs.
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