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Difference between Massage therapy and Chiropractic care

Chiropractic care and Massage therapy are often misunderstood as being one. They share some similarities, but the facts remain that both of them are different treatment methods with variable philosophies. Even though chiropractors and massage therapists use their hands to treat disorders, the scope of chiropractic is larger as compared to massage therapy. Thus, massage therapy and chiropractic treatment are different health care approaches. So, what are the differences and which one is suitable for your treatment? They can be differentiated based on the education, professional scopes, job opportunities and salaries involved in each of the methods.


The very difference lies in their education. A chiropractic doctor is trained in medicine and chiropractic, but massage therapists have different training.  Chiropractors have to undergo an undergraduate course of four years before practicing. Some of them also have a masters degree. Their education includes physics, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and biology. In their third and fourth year they of education they receive extensive preparation in spine manipulation.  On the other hand, a massage therapist needs only a  license as per the state rules.

Professional Scope

Chiropractors deal with muscles, bones, and nerves. In addition to spinal manipulation, they advise people on nutrition, personal health care, exercises, and correct postures. They are also trained to take X-Rays in their offices and are trained in human physiology.  Massage therapists, on the other hand, deal with muscles and tissues. They use oils or creams to carry out the Massage; this relieves the heavy lactic acid build up in the muscles or tissues that are the cause of pain. They are not adequately trained in human anatomy.

Job opportunities and salary

Chiropractors and massage therapists often operate solo. But sometimes they are also hired by medical houses to complement their treatment. The wages and job opportunities are greater for a doctor of chiropractic (DC) than a massage therapist.

Whom should you visit?

It is possible you might get confused about the job profiles of these two professions and end up making the wrong decision for yourself. Both massage and chiropractic can help you get relief from pain due to day to day activities. But it is important to know who suits the occasion best.

If you are having a stiff muscle or muscle pain, a visit to a massage therapist could be a good idea. They will let loose the lymphatic fluids and increase the blood circulation in the tissue. However, if the pain doesn’t cease you should consider visiting a chiropractor.

It is advised to visit a chiropractor before a massage therapist. This is because your chiropractor can diagnose your health condition better and determine if you have any serious issues. He or she will instruct you on if it is safe to visit a massage therapist or get yourself treated using chiropractic care depending on the intensity of your injury.

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