I suffer with tension in my back and neck

and try and go for a massage every month but how do I know if I should be seeing a Osteopath or Chiropractor?
Asked by lomi-lomi

8 answers

Top answer
In otherwise healthy individuals, myofascial (muscles and tissue) pain is usually the result of a combination of factors. From postural habits to emotional tension and work related influences, a host of vectors will always “push and pull”, creating so called “trigger points”, highly sensitive and painful areas in the muscles. Deep Tissue Massage is a good way to deactivate them and alleviate the symptoms.
What you need:
Going to a generic massage “once every month” won’t solve your problem. You have to have several Deep Tissue Massage sessions with a therapist trained in Trigger Points Therapy.
How many? Although immediate improvements have always been reported, no professional therapist will tell you how many sessions will be needed, as each body has its own healing pattern. First session should be a comprehensive consultation and last around 90mins. From there on, just give feedback and see if the symptoms change. As a rule of thumb, if after three sessions there is no change, then you either have the wrong therapist or you need indeed referral to a different therapy specialist.
What to ask:
If the therapist has Deep Tissue training, if he is conversant with Trigger Points Techniques, if he or she has any palpation skills (essential for finding these tensed areas)
For your info:
The main muscles involved are: Back Pain - trapezius, erector spinae, rhomboids, serratus group and sometimes latissimus dorsi. For lumbar pain there are others but from your message I gather that you are talking more about the superior back. Neck Pain – Levator Scapulae, Splenius Cervicis, Semispinalis and of course, the mother of all headaches, SCM (Sternocleidomastoid)
A word of caution: Massage is able to alleviate the symptoms and bring back the balance in your affected myofascial area. However, without changes in your lifestyle, the problems will come back, so a long-lasting solution is always holistic. Check and improve your posture (see a specialist for that) and learn to relax and meditate. The list is not exhaustive but is a good place to start. Ah, and have some fun, laugh every day and the rest…, you know already …
Holistic Practitioner
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A Osteopath or Chiropractor will both take a full consultation from you to see if they can help, both deal with bone problems and a lot more.I would see one of these first for a course of treatments if required and then return to my regular massage to help keep the tension away. If its a bone problem or nerve this has to be treated first and then the massage to keep the muscles relaxed. See which one gives the best results for your condition.If in pain after regular massage treatments then you no you need to look for more specialist treatments to help you.
I am an osteopath, who also uses a powered spinal mobiliser, Theraflex. A massage is always nice and feels good but does not correct a spine if you are having problems with stiffness, pain or postural problems. We also use a SpinalMouse for diagnostic purposes to assess the spine for posture, flexibility and core muscle strength and also measure changes in our treatment. Although I may use massage as part of a treatment, I never discourage patients from having one on a regular basis, but if it used for pain and stiffness it may not correct the problem, which may be why you are attending so frequently.
Why not help out and give your answer to the question?Osteopaths
I would agree there are probably multiple factors. If you have tried massage and have recurring symptoms I would recommend seeing a chiropractor. They can xray your neck and check whether you have an underlying skeletal problem. But also think very hard about your posture and actions and check whether you habitually do anything that creates adverse tension in any set of muscles.
Vicki Raven
If your back pain is not alleviated after your massage and is still causing you discomfort I would look into your posture and work out if everything was as it should be, I would suggest some solutions to help you there, and if after working on posture you are still in pain I would refer you to your doctor.
Experienced therapists that have been in the business for a while (5 or more years) and have certifications in skeletal or allignment massage may be able to tell you if you need to see a specialist but most therapists probably would not suggest this unless they're very sure.
If you're going every month and still experiencing pain, talk with your doctor and get their advice on going to a specialist.
I must see your back and then I tell you. I am expert on the spine and can help you


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