This is such a great and frequently asked question with, unfortunately, kind of a lame answer.. which is ”either”. You can see a massage therapist first or you can see the chiropractor first. It almost doesn’t matter because everyone is different and have different preferences depending on their individual goals.. So let’s talk about that.
After a typical massage therapy session, the clients muscles tense to be more relaxed, less guarded and able to cooperate with. Chiropractors can take advantage of this parasympathetic state to manipulate the skeletal bones more effectively, without much guarding from the once tense and protective muscles.
On the other hand, a chiropractor may advise the therapist to work on specific muscles (like in a Sports Massage Therapy session) to help maintain the adjustment - providing more long term care as opposed to improving the effectiveness of the chiropractic adjustment . Your goals may be different depending on which treatment you choose to do first but it is a case where “one hand washes the other”.
My advice is: have this conversation with BOTH your massage therapist and your chiropractor. If their suggestions are conflicting, experiment with both scenarios and gauge how you feel #1 immediately after your appointments and #2 how feel during the following days.
Ask yourself the right questions:
When does the pain return? Does that pain feel like it is going away or moving to another part of your body? Are you requiring adjustments and massages less frequently as time goes on (e.g. moving more towards a "maintenance phase")?
- Ask the right questions
- Experiment with both and see how you feel
- Gauge the results