The skeletal and muscular systems are closely intertwined, with almost every bone in the body having at least one skeletal muscle attachment. Problems can arise when muscles are too tense, causing strain and pulling the bones out of alignment, or too loose, not providing enough tension to keep them in position. Soft tissue work can help to correct these imbalances by restoring the proper tension in the muscle fibers and relieving pain and excess stress on the bones and joints. Maintaining the balance in tension between muscle and bone in the spine is especially important in order to control the movement and flexibility of the spinal column. Tight or overstretched muscles can prolong spinal problems and increase treatment time if they are not properly treated. Heat, electrical stimulation, Graston and massage are several ways to perform soft tissue work on a patient.
Massage is a very effective tool to use on soft tissues. The massage stimulates peripheral receptors that help to relax muscles and dilate the blood vessels around the manipulated area. This eases tension and helps to promote blood flow leading to increased oxygen levels and improved tissue mobility. Massages can be very beneficial prior to receiving an adjustment. The reduced muscle tension prevents the joints from being pulled back out of alignment after being readjusted. Having the proper amount of tension in the muscles helps the chiropractor preform a more effective adjustment as well. Chiropractors can perform the soft tissue work themselves prior to or after the adjustment, or they may recommend that you receive a professional massage either pre or post treatment.
A massage either before or after chiropractic treatment may be recommended according to the patients symptoms. If the patient has spastic and tight muscles around the joint that is going to be adjusted, it is more beneficial to receive soft tissue work prior to the chiropractic visit. Tight muscles near the joint that are to be adjusted may interfere with the adjustment process. Though rare, muscle tightness can cause pain during an adjustment. Having a massage prior to seeing a chiropractor can prevent pain and help increase mobility. A massage after an adjustment can help patients who require frequent chiropractic care. Once the joints are placed in proper position, soft tissue work can reduce muscle tension and prevent tight muscles from pulling the joints out of place. A massage after an adjustment can potentially increase the amount of time that the joint remains in alignment.
Body in Balance: http://www.bodyinbalance.com.au/the-benefits-of-combining-massage-therapy-with-chiropractic-care/
Logan University: http://www.logan.edu/mm/files/lrc/senior-research/2010-apr-22.pdf
Yeg Fitness: http://yegfitness.ca/get-massage-chiropractic-adjustment/
St. Lawrence University '15
Mirror Lake Chiropractic Intern