Therapeutic massage and chiropractic treatment have a lot in common, especially from a patient’s point of view. For example, both therapies can relieve pain, help you de-stress, and aid in preventing future injuries. So how do you know if you need chiropractic treatment or massage therapy?

The answer is that both of these forms of therapy can be very helpful and they complement each other. Whether you’re suffering from a recent or old injury, overdid it with sports or exercise, or are experiencing chronic pain, massage and chiropractic are excellent treatment methods that offer natural and holistic paths of addressing pain.

Massage Therapy

When performed by a licensed, educated, and experienced provider, massage therapy can provide many benefits. Massage therapists are often able to help with painful trigger points seen in conditions like fibromyalgia, old scar tissue and adhesions, and aching muscles and connective tissue. Massage can also help reduce stress, increase blood flow, and even help with problems related to maternity, both prenatal and postnatal.

Fortunately, British Columbia is one of the provinces that administers licensing for massage therapists. A registered massage therapist (RMT) has passed provincial licensing requirements and has thousands of hours of education and experience. They’ll be able to help you with a variety of problems and complaints. If you need a recommendation for a dependable massage therapist, ask your chiropractor.


Chiropractic medicine focuses mainly on the musculoskeletal system, although the nervous system and other body functions are certainly also included. Chiropractors provide a number of treatment modalities, from adjustments to specialised exercises, designed to correct misalignments, reduce or eliminate pain, and prevent further problems or injuries.

Chiropractors also work with soft tissue – connective tissue, muscles, etc. Many but not all chiropractors are additionally experienced in therapeutic massage to free up scar tissue and soothe trigger points, strained ligaments and tendons, and sore muscles. If your chiropractor doesn’t offer massage themselves, they’ll be able to make a referral to a qualified, registered massage therapist.

Keep Your Providers Informed

For those patients that have a serious medical condition or injury, it’s a good idea to receive medical clearance before starting massage therapy. Such clearance can be given by your chiropractor or family doctor and is simply a means to ensure that massage is safe and appropriate for your situation.

If you are seeing a chiropractor and massage therapist, it’s important that you keep both providers informed of your conditions, treatments, symptoms, and progress. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving massage therapy in addition to chiropractic treatment, all of your healthcare providers need to be on the same page and have each other’s contact information.