While most people are familiar with physical therapy and massage therapy, many are unaware of the role that they can play together in the arena of overall care. In fact, each treatment shares a common goal of providing drug-free treatment that supports the natural healing process. They just do so with different techniques. When applied together, though, the treatments complement one another to provide even better results than one or the other alone.
Having a good understanding of each type of therapy establishes the basis for better relating how the different treatments support one another. Each type of care has its own role and focuses on a different aspect of the body, which when paired with the others, presents a more holistic approach.
Physical therapy is a form of treatment that relies on physical methods to facilitate healing of disease, injury, or other deformities. It may include such treatments as massage, exercise, or even heat treatment as opposed to drugs or surgery.
Massage therapy is primarily focused on relaxing the muscles to eliminate stress caused by injury, surgery, or other means. This technique is also used to restore balance in the body.
Chiropractic care is designed to target disorders of the musculoskeletal system and even the nervous system. Chiropractors manipulate the joints and make adjustments to restore a more natural positioning of the spines and other bones to reduce pain and restore health.
Whereas treatment previously was focused in one arena, today providers often suggest a combined treatment approach that involves elements of physical therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic care or any combination of the three. There are a number of benefits to combined treatment, including:
• Comprehensive Treatment – The body is a complex structure in which each element works together – bones, soft tissues, muscles, and other supporting structures. When therapy combines components of each type of care, it addresses all aspects of the body to treat the issue from all sides and restore health in its entirety. This comprehensive approach renders better results and often faster healing.
• Faster Recovery – In particular, the element of massage therapy that contributes to a combined approach is that it helps relax the muscles affected by the injury or surgery. In so doing, the patient is better able to do the exercises and other stretches necessary for treatment. Additionally, massage aids in faster recovery of the soft tissue following chiropractic adjustments as well.
• Smoother Adjustments – Massage is focused on relaxing the muscles to aid in range of motion and reduce pain. This also has the benefit of facilitating chiropractic treatments, as the body is looser and more limber to make adjustments easier and more comfortable.
• Increased Range of Motion – As massage loosens the muscles and reduces tension, it also impacts range of motion and can increase the efficacy of chiropractic care and physical treatment. Most individuals needing treatment experience a reduced range of motion; however, with massage the movement is increased, making physical treatment and chiropractic treatment easier and more beneficial. Massage therapy assists in increasing flexibility and movement of the muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissue that has been impacted by the injury or illness.