What exactly is a therapeutic massage?

Therapeutic massages (also sometimes known as massage therapy) are specialist massages that focus on getting specific results instead of just helping you relax like a regular massage.

While a typical massage may help your body and mind feel more at ease for a short period, a therapeutic massage mobilizes your soft tissue to restore normal function. Following a massage therapy session, you can expect any pain and discomfort to disappear for some time after you leave your chiropractor’s clinic.

Therapeutic vs relaxation massage

The reason a therapeutic massage provides different results compared to a regular relaxation massage is due to the techniques used during each session. A therapeutic massage will often feel deeper than other types of massage. It’s also common to experience more tenderness as your chiropractor works through the tissue to help relieve your discomfort.

While it may feel deeper, a therapeutic massage should never feel painful. You shouldn’t be afraid to communicate with your chiropractor. If massage therapy ever feels too deep or uncomfortable, let them know straight away so they can alter the pressure and method.

Your chiropractor may use a series of techniques during your session that you wouldn’t expect from a regular massage. They may move between deep-tissue massages, trigger point work, passive-resistive stretching, myofascial release, and various movement therapies to get the best results.

How does it work?

Massage therapy can provide effective pain relief because many of your body’s structures that need adjusting are found deeper in your body than regular massages can get to. A light relaxation massage may make your body feel relaxed and boost your mood, but it won’t change the structure of your soft tissues which are causing you pain and discomfort.

A therapeutic massage uses deep tissue massage techniques to apply additional pressure, reaching deeper parts of your body. This method can break up scar tissue and adhesions causing you problems. This type of deep, healing massage can feel wonderful and may provide long-lasting results. 

What does it help?

Regular therapeutic massages can help relieve pain and discomfort caused by a number of issues. Whether you suffer from a chronic condition (one that lasts a long time) or an acute condition (a medical problem that occurred recently and can be treated), your chiropractor can use therapeutic massages to help a number of issues, including:

  • Repetitive stress injuries as a result of maintaining the same position for hours each day
  • Whiplash
  • Sprains and strains (after the initial inflammation has been treated)
  • Tendonitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Radiating pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Temporomandibular muscle and joint disorder
  • Migraines and tension, cluster, or sinus headaches

What to expect at your first session

Massage therapy isn’t a cookie-cutter approach and two visits rarely look the same. Your chiropractor will give you a thorough assessment and tailor each session to suit your specific needs at that time. 

When you make your first appointment, it’s important to explain exactly what your problem is and the outcome you’re hoping for. Talk about when your pain began and the cause of it, if you know how it started. The more information you can provide, the better job your chiropractor can do. 

When you arrive at the clinic for your appointment, you’ll be taken to a private room, just like you would for a regular massage. Therapeutic massages are rarely full-body massages, so it’s unlikely you’ll be asked to remove all your clothing and lie on a table unless it’s necessary to target the problem area. 

When the therapeutic massage is complete, your chiropractor may suggest working through a treatment program to help prolong the positive effects of the massage. They may suggest making regular massage therapy appointments, some exercises you can try at home, a switch to a healthier diet, and some simple lifestyle changes you can make to support your therapy. 

It could help you

If you’ve been suffering from pain and discomfort that just won’t go away, a therapeutic massage could really help. Whether you’re suffering from a repetitive stress injury from sitting in the same position for hours every day or you have to endure painful tension headaches with no clear cause on a regular basis, regular therapeutic massages may be just what you need to get back on track.

Get in touch with us today and our team of Veeva chiropractors will help you get back to living a pain-free life.

About the author

Matt has been helping providers within the healthcare setting for over a decade realize how best to solve a patients problem by understanding the individualism of each patient and what their true needs are.  To focus on the patient and they “Why” they need their particular service that goes beyond the initial reason for them to seek treatment.

In the Chiropractic world now for over 3 years, Matt not only takes the knowledge he has gained from other healthcare services he has supported,  but also has access to over 75 years of combined real life hands on experiences from the many doctors within the Veeva Chiropractic landscape.

Read more about Matt here >>