Massage, Physical Therapy, & Chiropractic

How do these different approaches to physical care help to resolve your health concerns?

If the foundation of a house shifts from its normal structural alignment, the resulting damage can be devastating. 1) Cracks in the walls, 2) creaky floorboards, and 3) windows that don’t open properly are just a few of the symptoms of the underlying cause, a structural shift of the foundation.

Similar to the foundation of a house, structural damage to the spine may be the underlying cause of a myriad of symptoms. Simply bandaging your symptoms is unlikely to correct the true cause of your condition, and may eventually lead to further spinal decay and more aggressive deterioration.

Each of these approaches have their place in your care, but each work in different ways. Let’s use a house as an analogy. Imagine you start noticing difficulty in sliding the house windows up and down, or the doors not shutting correctly, or even noticing a fissure in the wall. Now, you could treat these problems one by one. First, you could start by putting some WD-40 on the window tracks to help them go up and down more smoothly. Then you could shave the door down so that it will shut into the frame better. You can even put paint on the fissure to cover it up. But how long will these patches last for? Usually they come back, over and over again or lead to larger more costly repairs in the future. 

Until one day you get a builder out to check the foundation of the house. The builder notices that your home’s foundation has shifted and is causing many of these secondary problems you are experiencing with the house. By fixing the houses’ underlying structure and doing a little bit of work on the secondary repairs, you find things to be right again, and future expenses are avoided. No more need to keep shaving down your doors over and over again or re-patching and painting the walls!

Similar to the house, the foundation of your body is your spine. Structural damage to the spine may be the underlying cause of a myriad of symptoms you are experiencing. When your spine shifts from its normal position, the shifts may impede your body and nerve signals from functioning correctly. Some of the secondary conditions you might experience are tightness in your neck and shoulders, pain in your hips and/or legs, headaches and migraines, and digestive issues just to name a few. 

Now just as before, you can treat these problems one by one. You can go to a massage therapist who will look at the soft tissues that hang on the frame of your body. They will find tight spots and loosen them up giving you temporary relief. Massages, however, don’t work on your foundation as much as they work on the outer muscles of your body. This is similar to putting WD-40 on a squeaky window that doesn’t go up and down correctly. 

When it comes to your health, there’s no silver bullet. As a healthcare professional, our Doctors of Chiropractic are focused on the best possible outcome. Once your structure is being addressed, the massage and physical therapy may work synergistically with your chiropractic care to achieve optimum results.

Then, let’s say your massage visits don’t quite do the job and your problems keep coming back until someone recommends you visit a physical therapist. The PT will check your areas of complaint and find areas that need to be stretched and/ or strengthened. They might say your muscles aren’t “firing” in certain places which is why you can have dysfunction in your back or leg. They will try to stretch and strengthen certain body parts to improve their function. Often times this will begin to help, but might lose momentum as the stretches and exercises are not addressing the true root cause of your conditions. 

You see, neither the massage therapist or the physical therapist is taking a look at correcting your foundation, nor do they have the tools. Instead they are working on the surface areas and secondary conditions. Doctors of Chiropractic who focus on Neuro Structural Correction examine your foundation with many objective measures to see if your structure is shifted from a normal position. These shifts cause pressure on your nerves and can be causing symptoms or dysfunctions down stream, leading to pain and dysfunction. Only when theses spinal shifts are corrected, are your secondary symptoms able to resolve naturally. Once your structure is being addressed, the massage and physical therapy may work synergistically with your chiropractic care to achieve optimum results.