Who you should see when you have back pain

When you have back pain, it can be common to think getting a massage will fix the issue at hand. One hour and WHABAM, your back to it, often doing whatever it was that gave you back pain in the first place(!).

Massage is considered a complementary therapy

While a massage can relieve the symptoms of back pain, looking for the root cause and working on THAT will not only clear up the symptoms but also improve your quality of life overall. Plus, it will be less expensive in the long run! 

See, massage therapists work with a lot of different fields to alleviate your injuries and stresses, but there are other professions that work to improve mobility, reduce pain and improve your quality of life.

Who should you go and see? A Physio? Osteopath? Chiropractor?

Let’s look at what they all do…

Seeing a Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists can work on patients experiencing pain or injury. However, they tend to work more on general health and wellbeing post-injury, observing patients movements and correcting them, creating exercise programmes and the like. 

If you’ve got a long-term injury or illness and you’re looking for an exercise rehabilitation plan – a physio is who you’re after. Of course massage and physio go together wonderfully to help retrain your muscles AND prevent further injury.

Should I go to an Osteopath?

Osteopaths focus on patients who are experiencing pain or injury. Most of their work is done with massage and movement of muscles (90% of it is hands on). If your pain is severe rather than just everyday aches and pains, for example, you would be better off seeing an osteopath rather than a massage therapist. 

Of course, sometimes the injury isn’t fixed with an osteopath session. You might want to try a physiotherapist or chiropractor. Listen to your body. You’ll know who will be best for you.

When should I see a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation to make sure the body’s musculoskeletal structure is in alignment. Research has suggested that this works for muscle-related or unexplained lower-back pain, but it should not be used for chronic conditions such as arthritis (whereas massage can help those cases). 

And yes, a trained and licensed chiropractor is perfectly safe to go and see if you are otherwise in good health. However, if in any doubt, as always go and check with your GP first.

So when should I go to a massage therapist?

As I said at the beginning, massage therapists work with all of the above professions to:

  • help maintain your muscle quality
  • improve your body’s circulation
  • remove toxins from the body, plus much more! 

I’ve found that clients who invest in a monthly massage whether they are seeing any of the above professionals or not benefit from better muscle quality, faster recovery time, and overall improved quality of life. 

When you start to think of massage as a monthly body MOT or maintenance routine, you lower the likelihood of being in a (painful) position where you need to turn to one of these other practitioners.