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If your back hurts.  Not counting political or insurance.  Why would one go see a chiropractor instead of a skilled massage therapist?

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Just a guess on my part. But because the general public is uneducated, and unfortunately, there are also uneducated therapists out there.

I have asked people this same question at chair massage events. I have been told that, "Well I tried that one time, but the therapist hurt me, left bruising, etc." Several people told me that they even told the therapist that it was way too much pressure and the therapist didn't let up" or that the therapist didn't address the issues at all.

Perfect example: I went to a therapist a month ago. I did not tell the therapist that I was also a therapist.  I had been splitting wood all weekend, my lower back was killing me and my shoulders were in knots .

I filled out the intake form, asked the  therapist for firm pressure with extra attention on the shoulders. I received a nice soft relaxing massage. Not once did the therapist address the issues that I had discussed.

Luckily I know there are skilled therapists out there. Where as someone from the general public has one bad experience, or they think it's just fluff and buff and assume all other therapists are the same way.

Yea, sadly what you say is true.  But people have had very bad experiences with chiropractors too. I see no advantage at all in seeking chiropractic over skilled massage work.  But I'm not the general public.

It's very difficult to find a skilled massage therapist.  I live in a town of 40,000 people and there are 2 therapists here that I consider to be skilled.  One is me (not bragging or boasting, just understanding that I've worked REALLY hard to be the therapist I am and I'm willing to learn every single day), and the other is one of my clients who just became an MT and is doing really fantastic work with John Barnes' MFR.  We had one more (one of my MT school instructors) but she quit to go back to school to become an Occupational Therapist.

Everyone else in town either does the fluff and buff massages or the hurt people kind of massages that Chris talks about.

Chris, I've had the same complaints from my clients too if they have been to other therapists.

Gordon, typically a chiropractic appt is covered by insurance which makes it attractive to people.  It's 15 min, in and out, and you don't have to take clothes off or get covered in oil.  It fits well with our crazy societal structure.  The fact that not many people get real help doesn't matter.

I've never had back problems, but if I did, I would consider going to a chiropractor because:

1. People I know have gone to a chiro and gotten good results (and some haven't, I admit)

2. Even though chiropractors aren't considered doctors, I've always considered them as part of the medical community

3. I've always thought chiros had more training than massage therapists.

Hmm, maybe chiropractors have more training but... Well this was my experience today.  I had a lady come in with a complaint of a mild to moderate burning pain near her right shoulder blade. I asked her how long she has had this problem.  She said five years.  I asked her if she has seen anybody for this problem prior to seeing me.  She told me that when it was first a problem she went to a chiropractor twice a week for eight weeks before she stopped seeing him on her own because it wasnt helping at all.  As tiime went by , and her pain was still anoying, she went to another chiropractor.  Again after eight weeks twice a week with no resolution to her problem she stopped going, figuring she was just going to have to live with it. She came in to see me for a relaxation massage. It took me all but ten seconds to palpate her burning pain problem. A moderatly painful sore spot on the rhomboids right on the border of her right shoulder blade.  And then another thirty seconeds to eliminated it.  And I mean no more mild burning pain.. One trigger point on the rhomboids. I asked her if the chiropractors palpated that tender spot.  She said no. I asked her what they did.  She said adjustments and galvanic stem.  So lets see.  A total of 32 chiropractic sessions that did nothing for her compared to forty seconds of skilled massage therapy( if you wanna call it that? ).  I dont know.. Maybe there are better chiropractors out there? But my main reason for writing in here is to empower massage therapists.  We are not 3rd class practitioners.  We Have a High Art. Very High.  The trigger point was at about the T4 level on the border of her scapula.  I attached a file of similar trigger points.  Her problem was really simple.  How much training do you need?

Attachments:

I do agree, Chiropractors have a heck of a lot more training than Massage Therapists. I'm sure it depends on the chiropractor you go to, same as with finding the right Massage Therapist. I have been to several Chiro that only manipulate your spine. These few have never done anything to adjust the muscles that are causing the problem. I went because that's what the insurance paid for!

Nowadays, I do get Chiro adjustments since I found a good one, but I also get massage on the same day so that both work in conjunction with each other
 Pam Cameron said:

I've never had back problems, but if I did, I would consider going to a chiropractor because:

1. People I know have gone to a chiro and gotten good results (and some haven't, I admit)

2. Even though chiropractors aren't considered doctors, I've always considered them as part of the medical community

3. I've always thought chiros had more training than massage therapists.

So many people come in seeking relief from back pain after many chiro adjustments failed. Most I have succeded in ending the pain or making it managable. An AMA study years ago showed massage has better results than chiro, meds, or surgery. Yet MTs still don't trust their skills. For many conditions massage should be first choice. If we can't do it then move up. Our system that makes even MTs think it is the opposite is absolutely wrong.

Yea Daniel, you know what Im talking about. But I would change your last sentence to read .. Our education system instead of our system.  They need to empower reality instead of simply adding more hours and tests.  You're right.

Daniel Cohen said:

So many people come in seeking relief from back pain after many chiro adjustments failed. Most I have succeded in ending the pain or making it managable. An AMA study years ago showed massage has better results than chiro, meds, or surgery. Yet MTs still don't trust their skills. For many conditions massage should be first choice. If we can't do it then move up. Our system that makes even MTs think it is the opposite is absolutely wrong.

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