Few modalities compliment chiropractic care as well as massage does. I’ve spent some time going over the physiotherapy modalities that we use in our clinic. Though massage can be performed by chiropractors or physical therapists, the training and hands on time that licensed massage therapists (LMT) get related to this modality isn’t matched in training. As an LMT and a chiropractor I’ve seen great success when combining these two treatments. Although I don’t normally do the half hour sessions myself any more I still have LMTs in the office who do great work.
It’s important to recognize that your body is not just bones and joints. At times practitioners get so locked into their own specialty that they forget that there are others out there that are highly qualified that may be able to add to the treatment of their patient. We tend to use the tools that we’re trained with. When you get a joint injury such as a sprain your muscles lock down and secondary injury can occur due to inflammation. Other parts of the body can develop symptoms when they try to compensate. Health care practitioners should be aware of the affect of the injury and treatment methods on other aspects of the body and your life as a whole.
Massage can provide the added benefits of reduced inflammation, relaxed muscles, less pain, reduced risk of secondary injury, reduced healing time, as well as allowing the body to be more receptive to the adjustments your chiropractor needs to give. Adjustments can be received with less discomfort due to relaxation and reduced anxiety. Regular massage can also help prevent future injury. Here is some links to research on the benefits of massage: 1, 2, 3, 4
Insurance will not normally cover massage as a stand alone therapy, but will sometimes cover it as a physiotherapy modality prescribed by a chiropractor if it is clinically justified. Though I wouldn’t go as far as to say it is essential, I do highly recommend massage prior to chiropractic manipulation. Let me know about your experiences with massage.