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Whether it’s your low back, your shoulder or your neck, nagging pain can make it next to impossible just to get through your day. So should you get a massage or an adjustment? Here’s how to decide between visiting the massage therapist or the chiropractor.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy targets muscular issues, which includes everything from pulls, strains, spasms to areas of tension stemming from overwork. Massage therapy is still considered a luxury to some, but it’s a legitimate way to find pain relief and recovery benefits. By manipulating soft tissue, your therapist can impact the nervous system while also encouraging fluid movement in the top layer of the muscle. Massage therapists aren’t licensed for any adjustments, but they are able to offer suggestions for homeopathic and holistic remedies that may be helpful. Massage therapy is also ideal for stress relief, improved skin condition, better blood flow and a drop in anxiety. Plus, they feel wonderful!


This treatment is intended to specifically addresses musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders while focusing on join and spine health. A spinal manipulation or adjustment is the most common technique, and it’s used to treat back and neck pain. Chiropractic treatment can also help with conditions like joint pain, headaches, tension, insomnia and tendonitis. As licensed chiropractors, they can also make medical diagnoses in addition to ordering blood work and X-rays.

Combining Massage Therapy and Chiropractic

While both therapies can be effective on the own, the combination of both massage therapy and chiropractic care can be the right treatment for managing chronic pain. That’s why chiropractors like Dr. Lynelle McSweeney here in Reno offer massage therapy as part of their treatment.

Massage is an excellent method of warming up the body before an adjustment. Plus, adjustments tend to last longer when muscle tension has been released first. Think about it – tight muscles can pull joints out of alignment, and massage therapy is a great way to resolve that problem first. Both treatments really do go hand in hand – chiropractic care addresses the misalignment and can bring immediate relief to the soft tissue that massage therapy is targeting. And soft tissue can also heal faster when joints are in proper alignment.

That’s why Dr. McSweeney begins her chiropractic appointments with a G5 massage. She uses this machine-assisted massage therapy technique to manipulate soft tissue, positively impacting both the nervous and muscular system and encouraging enhanced circulation of local and general blood and lymphatic fluids. All that, and it’s also a relaxing way to begin a session that will bring even more relief.

Next time you’re debating between the chiropractor or the massage therapist, don’t limit yourself to just one. You can visit Dr. McSweeney to enjoy the benefits of both treatments, or book back-to-back appointments with your favorite chiropractor and massage therapist.