Chiropractors are health professionals who specialize in treating neck and back pain through safe, natural, and noninvasive techniques. They use their hands and a range of treatment modalities to address patient complaints, including spinal manipulation, sonic (sound) vibrations, heat packs, stretching and breathing exercises, and lifestyle changes.
Chiropractors also use deep tissue massage in conjunction with these other modalities. First used by ancient far eastern civilizations, the modern version of deep tissue massage was developed by physiologist Therese Pfrimmer, who inadvertently discovered it while treating her own leg paralysis.
How Does Deep Tissue Massage Work?
There are many kinds of massages; the most common is certainly the ones done in the spa—from Swedish and Shiatzu, to Thai and Reflexology massages. These aim to produce relaxation and relieve stress; however, these kinds of massages only cover the surface layers of the body, the level just under the skin.
Deep tissue massage—as the name suggests—goes beyond that. It is therapeutic, because it goes right into the muscles and tendons so that bands of rigid tissue (called adhesions) can break down. With the pressure exerted by the therapist, blood circulation is improved, the muscles become more flexible, toxins are eliminated, and natural healing is facilitated.
Deep tissue massage can be effective not only in treating back pain, but also other medical conditions such as sports-related injuries, muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. It is especially effective with headaches.
Is Deep Tissue Massage for Everybody?
Deep tissue massage is unfortunately not for everybody, and the chiropractor will have to assess whether it’s a good fit for a patient upon examination. Highly sensitive people, for example, may find it very painful, and while communication with the therapist can lessen the discomfort, it will not be completely pain-free.
Furthermore, women who are pregnant can’t have deep tissue massage, nor can patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, have skin disease, have recently had surgery, are prone to blood clots, or have tumors or hernia in the abdomen.
Deep Tissue Massage in Conjunction with Chiropractic Care
Since deep tissue massage therapy is most effective for problems in the muscular system, chiropractors usually use this technique first, prior to any spinal adjustments, as the massage loosens tight muscles and make the body more responsive to manipulations later on.
For people suffering from chronic pain, then, visiting a chiropractor and having a deep tissue massage therapy may be the answer in getting long-lasting pain relief.