Chiropractor or Massage – Which Is Best for Back Pain?

Person lying down receiving a back massage

Waking up to and living with back pain can quickly sap our motivation and energy for life. Who can think about spending time in an uncomfortable chair when it’s just hours and hours of pain?

Many sufferers resort to popping painkillers just to regain functionality for the day or just bear it with a grimace. But these medicines (and toughing it out) are almost never a permanent solution.

Two options that could help you with back pain are seeing a Chiropractor or getting a massage. But when it comes to a Chiropractor or massage, how do they compare?

Let’s take a further look now.

Don’t Mask the Problem – Fix It Long Term!

Getting a massage or seeing a chiropractor is a popular, drug-free quick fix and potential long-term solution for back pain.

While both options involve physical, hands-on manipulation of the body, the biggest difference between the two is that chiropractors focus on the skeletal system, with the spine being a major point of treatment.

Massage instead targets soft tissue such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Muscle Pain vs. Skeletal Pain

Our soft tissue can hurt when it is stressed, tired, or overworked. It’s the same feeling we get when we lift heavy weights repeatedly in a short time, or if we stretch a bit too far.

A massage helps by loosening these tightened muscles and tissue with physical force, allowing blood to flow more freely to speed recovery.

The joints may cause pain when they’re compressed in the wrong places, which pinches nerves and leads to pain signals being sent to the brain.

A bent spine from stooping over the computer for too long or stressed ankles from wearing the wrong type of shoes could cause these compressions.

Chiropractors can safely realign these joints to relieve pressure and provide adjustments to lifestyle or habits for the long term.

So, Which Is Best for My Back Pain – Chiropractor or Massage?

The first step of fixing back pain is always identifying its root cause: Is it a muscle locking up somewhere, or is it the bone itself going out of alignment?

Visiting your local masseuse and/or chiropractor for a professional opinion would be the best way to make an informed decision.

A massage could be a nice, cost-effective way to get started on pain reduction, and it usually leaves you in a nice, relaxed mood anyway.

One way to self-identify the pain is by pressing on the painful area – does it feel relieved after applying a bit of pressure? Or does the pain feel bone-deep?

If the relief is just temporary or if it increases with a shift in the bone, maybe it is a good idea to have a chiropractor look deeper into the problem. Sometimes literally deeper when talking about technology such as X-rays to find out the true state of your skeleton.

Chiropractors will also perform an in-depth analysis of your daily habits that can reveal information to determine potential treatments:

  • Maybe your spine is out of whack because of a poor office chair.
  • Maybe you are standing or sitting too much.
  • Maybe your pillow is at the wrong softness or thickness.

Potential causes like these are unusual to the average person, but can be identified by an experienced chiropractor with a solution to boot!

Chiropractor or Massage – Conclusion

Essentially, to properly treat back pain you should get the best opinions and perspectives on the problem by checking out both types of treatment.

Medical issues are often much more complex than expected.

The Michael & David Black Chiropractic Group offers friendly, effective care for residents in and around Armadale and Doncaster. With 36 years of service in Australia, they can provide advice on current treatments and next steps to many painful problems.

Book an appointment by calling (03) 9509 7691 or visit to find out more!