Massage as a Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractors may use different kinds of massage to treat their patients. Massage is sometimes used to relax patients before a treatment. Traction massage is done before a spinal adjustment. It helps the muscles relax which makes an adjustment more beneficial. The patient lies on a table face up and a pillow is put under their knees. A set of rollers moves gently up and down the spine which massages and stretches the back muscles. Traction devices are also used to lengthen areas of the spine. This helps separate the vertebra which decompresses discs and decreases nerve root pressure and pain.
Massage chairs are also used by chiropractors to loosen tight muscles or adjust the spine. They select the area of the massage and the length of time it needs to be done for each patient. The also set the amount of pressure and type of massage technique. There are massage chairs with traction features. Some of these chairs have rollers that move up and down that move up and down the spine. The rollers lightly push in and around each disc which adjust the spinal column. Massage chairs can stretch the lower body from the hips to the feet. Arms and shoulders can be stretched as well.
Some chiropractors treat their patients with neuromuscular therapy or trigger point myotherapy. This kind of massage therapy is a manual therapy which treats back pain caused by soft tissue injury. A chiropractor will use his fingers, knuckles or elbow to apply pressure on painful muscle spasms. The amount of pressure applied depends on the comfort of the patient. This relaxes the muscles and releases lactic acid. It also helps more blood and oxygen to go into the muscle. Neuromuscular therapy is a treatment for Ischemia, Trigger Points, Nerve Compression, Postural Distortion and Biomechanical Dysfunction.
Chiropractors may be trained in deep tissue massages. Deep tissue massage is done by strokes across the grain of the muscles. Massages are done before or after a treatment. It helps decrease problems in the muscles such as congestion, tension and spasms. Stress on joints, ligaments, cartilage and discs are reduced. If a massage is done before a chiropractic treatment, it makes the joints suppler so the adjustments are easier. After an adjustment, it helps the adjustment work well and relaxes the patient. The pressure used in deep tissue massage may be somewhat uncomfortable. Soreness may be felt for a few days before relief of painful symptoms.
Soft tissue massage can help muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia or connective tissues. Problems in these areas can add to back pain from other reasons. Chiropractic adjustments often last longer when soft tissue areas are treated. Soft tissue massage decreases swelling and inflammation. Nutrients go to the tissues as waste products are removed. Circulation will also improve with this type of massage. Some techniques used for a soft tissue massage are trigger points, Swedish massage and Friction. A chiropractor usually uses a combination of techniques to treat patients such as massage, adjustments, stretching and other therapies.