Chiropractor Vs Massage Therapist

Chiropractic and massage are COMPLETELY different. It’s akin to comparing a dental hygienist and a dentist. The main difference is that the massage therapist can do some procedures on his/her own without a doctor to supervise or prescribe massage therapy. Physical therapy actually shares more similarities to massage therapy. However, there are significant differences between the two and even more between chiropractic and massage.

Massage therapists, like physical therapists, have no ability to diagnose or take x-rays. A massage therapist services are specifically limited to manipulating the muscles of the body for simple muscular complaints like muscle soreness or tightness.

What’s Confusing?

The confusion between chiropractic and massage therapy often comes because many do not understand what chiropractic can do. Admittedly, a lot of this is the fault of the chiropractic profession itself. It attempts to allow patients more access to chiropractic treatment, chiropractors have settled for being pain and symptom specialists instead of a spinal specialist. A majority of this has to do with insurance finding ways to cut costs by bullying chiropractors.

As a result, in order to get paid from insurance companies, chiropractors are forced to limit chiropractic treatment to the bare minimum. When in fact, more structural care is necessary to correct the cause of the symptoms. To put it into perspective, it would be like your insurance company covering the cost of pain pills for a broken arm but not a cast, or cough suppressants and decongestants for strep throat but not an antibiotic. While you’d be better off building a healthier immune system for the second example, you get the idea that you don’t see this type of bias when it comes to recommending treatments in the medical field.

This has caused a lot of chiropractors to take the easy way out and rely on pain based chiropractic treatment to gain in-network status for insurance reimbursements. Instead of chiropractors educating the patients and insurance companies what type of chiropractic is necessary to correct the cause of their patient’s pain and symptoms. This is where the confusion between massage therapy and chiropractic gets muddy.

Massage therapy and pain based chiropractic treatment often look very similar in their goals because they are. Despite the chiropractor having a great deal more education and a much larger scope of practice, it’s not always being used. I have seen numerous patients that have come from pain based chiropractors who refused to treat the patient’s disc bulge despite that diagnosis being the core of the chiropractic scope of practice. If chiropractors limit their treatments to what insurance companies are willing to pay for in-network status, then it’s no wonder people are confused.

If you want to a chiropractor in Greenville who treats the cause of the problem and does more than massage therapy type pain based treatment then call Corrective Chiropractic today.

High school, plus 500 hours (~2 years)

Limited to simple muscular complaints (i.e. muscle soreness, muscle tension)

Symptom-based; simple muscular complaints

A massage therapist cannot interfere or contradict any doctor’s recommendations or prescription.

Massage may be covered by insurance but only when prescribed by a chiropractor or M.D

chiropractor greenville nc

High school, undergraduate degree AND Doctorate of Chiropractic

Specialists focusing, but not limited to, complex musculoskeletal disorders (i.e. spinal degeneration, disc bulge, disc herniation, arthritis, neck pain, low back pain, headaches, sciatica).

Traditional Chiropractic; symptom/pain based
Structural Chiropractic; correction of spinal structure

Yes. Chiropractors can have their own unique medical opinion regarding the treatment of a patient within their scope of practice. I.e. a surgeon recommends surgery for a patient’s bulging disc. A chiropractor can prescribe and perform chiropractic care, physical therapy, traction, exercise etc. for the correction of the disc bulge.

In-network reimbursement for chiropractic is often limited to pain based care.

Out-of-network reimbursement for chiropractic isn’t limited to the type of treatment but the number of visits allowed in your insurance plan.

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