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Chiropractor or Sports Massage Therapist: which is right for my injury?

If you have been injured or you're suffering from joint inflammation, you may be thinking about chiropractic treatment or sports massage to help you to overcome your pain. However, unless you are trained in medical science, it can often be tough to know which is the right treatment for your injury. We've rounded up some of the most common injuries and recommended the most appropriate course of action to help you get back on your feet and fighting fit.

                                           soft tissue massage

What’s the difference between a Chiropractor and a Sports Therapist?

Although both chiropractors and sports therapists can be relied upon when you're in need of help, there are differences in their practices. Generally speaking, chiropractors treat joint injuries and specialise in spinal adjustment and manipulation. Adjustment means stimulation of the nervous system which innovate your muscles and joints. At times when we are treating patients we are able to assess whether a chiropractic adjustment is needed in order for a patient to recover quicker as opposed to long periods of massage treatments. When a joint is displaced we can feel this on palpation of the joint and sometimes a manipulation is needed as well as soft tissue to help that joint to go back into place in order for the body to function better.

Sports massage therapists treat soft tissue injuries and are specialists in human movement and the restoration of muscles and other soft tissues. Muscles attach to joints and as a result of some muscles becoming short and tight it creates a weak joint. Therefore soft tissue work is imperative when trying to adjust a joint or to create balance in the body.

How do you know whether you need to see a Chiropractor or a Soft Tissue Therapist?

In layman’s terms it would be difficult for you to potentially make that call yourself. At Intulo Health we carry out a full assessment on our patients to ascertain whether we can help them in the first place. We use this time to establish whether the presenting complaint is a joint issue or soft tissue related. Once we are able to make that distinction we can then either refer our patient onto Chiropractor or we can deal with the presenting problem at hand when it’s soft tissue and rehabilitation related.

It is common practice that most injuries are soft tissue and rehabilitation related. When a muscle that attaches onto a joint is not functioning the way it should, then rehabilitation is key to ensure that we can get the muscles to fire in the way they should. Sitting at a desk all day is a prime example of how muscles can stop firing as a result of becoming weak. For example a patient goes to the gym straight from work and runs on a treadmill or participates in functional exercises where particular muscles are not firing, as a result injury is probable.

This is where we as Physical Therapists at Intulo Health come in …..

In conclusion…

There are clear differences between seeing a chiropractor and seeing a sports therapist, but if you are still unsure as to which treatment is right for you, get in touch. We can assess your particular situation and suggest the treatment for you and make the necessary referrals. If we are not the right therapist for you, we will refer you straight away without charge.

At Intulo Health we work in partnership with experienced Chiropractors, so whether you need a Chiropractor or a Sports Massage therapist we are able to offer a whole package tailored to your needs.

Contact Amanda to discuss your next treatment on amanda@intulohealth.com or ring 01202 443892 to book your appointment with Amanda, Rachel or Matt.