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Should You get a Massage Before or After a Chiropractic Adjustment?

Unfortunately, muscle tension and spinal dysfunction are both all-to-common problems. Millions of Canadians suffer pain and discomfort from them. Fortunately, there are excellent and effective treatments available: massage therapy treats the soft tissues of the body, like muscles, and chiropractic adjustments treat misaligned joints, like the spine.

These ailments are so common, many people who suffer from one, also suffer from the other. So it stands to reason that lots of people can benefit from a combination of both massage therapy and chiropractic adjustment. Indeed, Chiropractic adjustment and massage therapy can be even more effective when combined than they are used independently.

However, this raises the question:

Ultimately, there is not a single correct answer to this question for all patients. Instead, the answer will depend on the specific details of your situation. At a consultation with your chiropractor and massage therapist, they can help you figure out which arrangement will serve you best.

Chiropractic Adjustment first, Massage Therapy Second

If you seem to require frequent and regular chiropractic adjustments, then having your massage after the adjustment may be beneficial. After your chiropractor has adjusted your joints into the right position, you don’t want muscle tension to wrench them back to misalignment. A massage right after your adjustment can help keep your muscles relaxed and neutral, so that the proper alignment is allowed to hold and stay in place. This way, the benefits of the adjustment will last longer and you might not need to book your next ones as frequently.

As an added bonus, many patients enjoy having a massage after an adjustment because it feels great! After the abruptness of a chiropractic adjustment, a soothing massage is a great way to achieve blissful relaxation. There is nothing quite as satisfying as walking into your appointments with a painful back and walking out with a well-adjusted and relaxed body.

Massage Therapy First, Chiropractic Adjustment Second

If you suffer from a particularly tight muscle, then it is a good idea to have it treated with massage before you go in for your chiropractic adjustment. If the tight muscle is close to the joints that your chiropractor will treat, then its tightness could interfere with the adjustment. Receiving a massage first ensures that there are no tight muscles in the way and your chiropractor will be able to access the joints better.

While chiropractic adjustments are very rarely painful or uncomfortable, muscle tightness or spasms could cause pain during the procedure. Prior massage can protect against this pain. If this is your first time receiving a chiropractic adjustment, then having the massage first can help you relax beforehand.

Whichever order you ultimately pursue, a combination of these two treatments can be remarkably effective for relieving pain, restoring mobility, and improving your quality of life. If you are unsure of the order that will be best for you, consult with your therapists. You can also experiment by trying both arrangements to see what works best for your body.


Author Bio:

Paul Graver lives in Toronto with his lovely wife Liz and his pet dog Berno. He is now leading a quite retired life after being in the health industry for about 30 years. But being retired hasn't stopped him from being updated about the latest developments in the medical field. He loves reading and writing about living healthy and staying fit. He can be followed on twitter.


  1. Davis Lawrence 12 December, 2016 at 21:41

    Never thought of getting a massage alongside a chiropractic appointment. Will definitely have to schedule a massage before my next session to relieve all the spasms and tension before hand. Excellent article and thanks for the great advice on making my next chiropractic visit that much more enjoyable!

  2. Nash Rich 8 April, 2016 at 13:45

    I’ve only been to a chiropractor a few times, but I got a massage before seeing the doctor. It was actually stim, but I don’t know if that counts as the same thing. I didn’t know that places did massages after, but I can see how that would be beneficial too. You have to get your tissues and joints to get used to the adjustment. Thanks for the info.

  3. Eliza Cranston 17 November, 2015 at 07:31

    Thank you for the information on massage and chiropractic adjustments. I get both massages and adjustments pretty regularly but I wasn’t sure how to coordinate them correctly. I have tight muscles so it sounds like it would be good for me to get a massage before going to the chiropractor. Do you know suggest that I talk both him and my massage therapist to make sure they coordinate their treatments?

  4. Olivia Sherwin 6 October, 2015 at 14:55

    This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that if you have to have frequent chiropractic adjustments, a massage afterward can be beneficial. I have to see my chiropractor fairly frequently because of my back, and the problem seems to be recurring. I’ll definitely look into having a massage after my next appointment to see if that helps keep my body aligned. Thanks for the great post!

  5. DarleeAnn Mathieson 2 October, 2015 at 16:28

    Hi Brandon

    Therapeutic massage in combination with chiropractic care is an excellent & complimentary way to maintain your physical health.

    My clients often ask me the same question and there are a number of factors to determine whether a massage before or after would have the best result.

    First and foremost, what is the nature of the injury? Depending on the severity a Dr’s visit maybe required to determine what type of injury you have.

    If you have just tweaked a muscle or it feels like you have overused the muscles, there isn’t a hard and fast rule saying you need to experience one therapy before the other. The only way to know is to try and then see how your body responds.

  6. Brandon Roberts 18 September, 2015 at 12:19

    I hurt my back the other day, and I am going to the chiropractor next week to get it adjusted. But I heard that getting a massage would help me out. But I wasn’t sure if I should get it before or after the chiropractor. So I really appreciate you talking about this, and clearing up some of my confusion about this whole thing.

  7. Deanna R. Jones 5 August, 2015 at 14:46

    Thanks for posting this! I never knew that it matters if I choose to see a massage therapist before going to see a chiropractor. I’m looking for a chiropractor to adjust my spine, but there are a lot of muscles in my back that I really need to loosen up. I suppose chiropractic therapy should help with that problem, right? Even if my back feels tight much longer than I would like, I should still take it from you and wait until after chiropractic therapy before going to see a massage therapist.

  8. Delores Lyon 5 August, 2015 at 11:12

    Thanks for sharing this advice on when to get massage between chiropractic visits! Lately, I have been suffering from a really tight muscle in my back, and have been wondering whether to go to a massage therapist or a chiropractor. It sounds like I should probably try a massage first, and then see if it is still there. If the problem isn’t fixed after a massage, I will definitely start looking for a chiropractor to help me out.

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