The Big Difference Between Seeing a Chiropractor vs Just Getting a Massage

Have you found yourself in a dilemma and wondering whether to visit a chiropractor or rather get that massage? Well, to kick it off, how about I paint for you a clear picture of who a chiropractor is and what a massage entails. Generally, chiropractic is a licensed substitute health occupation keen on your body’s capability to heal itself. Chiropractic emphasizes diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders that mainly affect your spine and the entire neuromusculoskeletal system. So it’s safe to say a chiropractor is a medical professional with a non- surgical approach that aims at treating disorders that affect mainly the neuromusculoskeletal system.


On the other hand, massage therapy is a treatment that involves rubbing, tapping, kneading, and stroking your body’s soft tissues. All these are done to promote healing through advancing physical functioning, releasing both stress and pain, increasing blood circulation, and lowering your blood pressure.

Now that you have a clear picture of what both occupations are all about, let’s see the difference between visiting a chiropractor or getting that massage.

  • Level of Training

The two professionals have different levels of training. A chiropractic doctor must undergo four years of training at a chiropractic college, which mostly paves the way for an undergraduate degree in the basic sciences. Later on, they acquire a state license. A massage therapist in the US only requires a license issued upon completing a specified training program. Having known this, you’ll be able to decide on the level of professionalism you desire.

  • Mode of Practice

As you may have noted by now, the two professions have some differences even though they are aimed at one common goal. With that said, let’s see the different modes of practice in both disciplines. In chiropractic, there are six techniques commonly used by chiropractors.

  • Flexion-Distraction

 Flexion-distraction is used to treat many back conditions by advancing spinal motion by reducing disc bulges and herniation. 

  • Activator Method

The activator method is a technique in chiropractic whereby a handheld powered object is used to deliver a fast low-force impulse to your spine or specific joints. This object is known as the activator adjusting instrument.

  • The Drop Technique

In this technique in chiropractic, the chiropractor provides a swift plunge to your pelvic area or the spine to manipulate the spine with more minor discomforts.

  • Gonstead Technique

The Gonstead technique allows the chiropractor to determine whether there are areas in your spine that are subluxated.

  • Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation is a technique whereby a chiropractor uses their hands to force a joint on your spine directly. For instance, a Chiropractor Jupiter Florida residents recommend, offers these specialized services. The level of force and even the direction through which it is applied are usually specific. Besides chiropractors, spinal manipulation is sometimes performed by osteopathic physicians and physical and occupational therapists in the US. 

  • Extremity Manipulation

Extremity manipulation is a technique that entails high swiftness and low amplitude plunges to your spine and other joints to release pain, pressure and help restore agility.
There are several different types of massage you can choose from when it comes to massage therapy, depending on your desire, and below I’ve broken down a few.

  • Deep Tissue Massage

This is a technique that generally uses intense pressure on areas of tension and pain. It is used to treat issues such as osteoarthritis pain, muscle tension, limited mobility, chronic pain, postural issues, muscle tension, and repetitive strain injury. So if you’re experiencing any of the above problems, you should go for a deep tissue massage.

  • Hot Stone Massage

In this technique, a massage therapist uses smooth and flat rocks that usually retain heat. The stones are initially from a volcanic rock type called basalt. They are dipped in hot water before being placed on specific body areas such as the face, hands, feet, back, and stomach to release pain.

  • Reflexology

This is a technique whereby the thumb, finger, and hand apply pressure on specific points of your body without oil or lotion.

  • Aromatherapy Massage

This technique primarily focuses on achieving relaxation and mindfulness through the use of essential oils. During this massage, you will absorb necessary oil molecules through your skin and inhale them.

  • Craniosacral Therapy

This particular technique has a gentle approach in examining the membranes and also fluid movement in your body. It’s appropriate for neck pain headaches and can also provide relief from the side effects of cancer treatment.

  • Myofascial Massage

This particular technique focuses on muscles whereby they are relaxed, reducing tension and thus relieving pain. Being that it is a hands-on approach, it’s very safe and effective. 


Having taken you through that, you can tell the difference between seeing a chiropractor or getting that massage, and it’s safe to say you’ll be able to make the right decision.