Woman receiving a medical massage.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a massage? You likely think of candles, ambient lighting and music, and an all around relaxing experience.

What about when we say “medical massage”? Is it completely different or not really?

Medical massage, or massage therapy, is similar to a traditional massage but with a medical component and the end goal of pain relief rather than just relaxation.

Massage therapy is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for chronic pain and discomfort because it is non-invasive and can provide lasting relief by treating the cause of pain rather than just the symptoms.

Read on to learn more about medical massage therapy and how it’s about more than just relaxation.

How Does Medical Massage Work?

Medical massage targets specific areas of your body and addresses specific medical conditions to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve circulation. A regular massage on the other hand is meant to promote relaxation and general well-being.

A licensed massage therapist targets your soft body tissues that are the root cause of your pain. Soft body tissues include muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments.

Medical massage can be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, and stress.

While a standard massage can certainly have some of these same benefits, it is not designed to treat specific conditions.

The biggest benefit of medical massage is that it is an effective pain treatment option that is drug-free and non-invasive. It is also more likely to be covered by insurance since it is designed to treat a medical issue.

Man receiving medical massage therapy.

What Are the Types of Medical Massage?

There are many types of medical massage therapy and your specific condition will dictate which one is best suited for you.

Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage is similar to the common Swedish massage but your massage therapist will use firmer pressure to target the deeper layers of your muscle to relieve chronic soreness and injury.

Myofascial Release

Fascia is the thin connective tissue that holds together your muscles, bones, nerves, and organs. A myofascial release massage applies sustained pressure to your connective tissue to alleviate pain and improve your range of motion.

Trigger Point Therapy

Many people have heard about “knots” in their muscles causing pain and reducing their range of motion. These knots are trigger points. A trigger point massage targets those knots directly to release them.

Sports Massage

Athletes put a lot of pressure on their muscles, and a sports massage does more than help relax those muscles. It involves targeted massaging of specific muscles to improve flexibility and enhance performance.

Neuromuscular Therapy

This technique involves the use of pressure and manipulation to address nerve and muscle problems. It is often used to alleviate pain caused by injuries, chronic conditions, or repetitive strain.

Man receiving trigger point massage
Chiropractic and Medical Massage

Chiropractic care and medical massage work together to address a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. Most importantly, they share a common goal of promoting natural and holistic healing and restoring your body to its optimal functionality.

When used together, chiropractic care and medical massage can provide a powerful combination of healing, pain relief, and relaxation without resorting to surgery or medications.

Chiropractic adjustments help restore your spine and joints to their proper alignment which improves your bodily functions. Medical massage meanwhile helps to reduce pain and inflammation, improve circulation, and promote relaxation throughout the body, which in turn leads to improving your bodily functions.

A great example of chiropractic and medical massage working together is regarding chronic lower back pain. A chiropractor will use spinal manipulations to correct any underlying misalignment while a massage therapist can then help alleviate muscle tension and pain and improve circulation to the area.

Together, they help you realign your skeletal system and strengthen the muscles around it to prevent future injuries and enhance your quality of life.

How Do You Know If Medical Massage Is Right for You?

The most important thing to remember is that pain is not normal. Even if it’s slight and not causing a huge interruption to your daily activities, you still shouldn’t have to live with it.

If you’ve been getting a massage once or twice a month but still have chronic pain or stiffness in your muscles, a more targeted medical massage can be the right choice for you. Any massage can be great for mental clarity and relaxation, but when it comes to alleviating chronic pain or rehabbing injuries, a dedicated treatment plan is needed.

Your current physician can help you decide if medical massage is a smart treatment plan for you, or you can visit our office at Lakes Chiropractic & Wellness for a fully personalized treatment plan.

We believe in healing from the inside out which is why we think chiropractic care and medical massage work so well together. Contact us today and get on the road to wellness.