You’ve heard of chiropractic adjustments, and you’ve heard of massage therapy, but what about chiropractic massage?

While some chiropractic providers offer massage therapy in their offices, not all offer chiropractic massage. This discipline is its own separate entity with different methods but similar goals to both massage therapy and chiropractic adjustments.

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What Is Chiropractic Massage?

Chiropractic massage offers a combination of massage therapy and chiropractic care to help support whole spine and body health in the patient.

Your chiropractor uses traditional adjustments to release any subluxations that could be causing your pain and discomfort, as well as promoting healing to your muscle fibers and soft tissue. Massage is then used to help promote healing and wellness to the smaller systems of your body that may otherwise get forgotten during a chiropractic adjustment, such as your limbic and nervous systems.

Chiropractic adjustments focus on the hard tissue of the body, such as the vertebrae and joints of the spine, and massage focuses on the soft tissues, including muscle.

Whatever your goals for chiropractic treatment, utilizing chiropractic massage as part or all of your treatment plan can give you better, faster results and greater feelings of health and well-being.

How Is Chiropractic Massage Different from Massage Therapy?

While many of the techniques and methods used in both chiropractic massage and massage therapy are similar, chiropractic massage is a more complete, holistic approach to treatment.

The term “massage therapy” may conjure up thoughts of soft lighting, candles, aromatherapy, and calming music. Your masseuse may use these items in your chiropractic massage therapy, but many choose not to.

In many cases, a chiropractic massage session will be conducted in the same appointment as a chiropractic adjustment. However, depending on how extensive your injury or problem, your chiropractor may suggest separate sessions of chiropractic adjustment and massage.

What Conditions Is Chiropractic Massage Helpful for?

Chiropractic massage can help with a wide variety of conditions, giving you complete treatment and a better chance at a full recovery.

Some common conditions that are treated with chiropractic massage include:

Back Pain

Chronic back pain can be caused by subluxations of the spine, or by damaged muscle fibers. If you’ve suffered from back pain for a long time, your posture may change which can put stress on the muscles and soft tissues of your back, causing further pain and stiffness.

Treating the subluxations in your spine with a chiropractic adjustment and following up with treatment of the muscles and soft tissue through massage helps promote better blood flow to the damaged muscle fibers, speeding healing and decreasing inflammation and pain.

Pinched Nerves

There are a variety of ways you can develop a pinched nerve. Some injuries, such as those suffered in car accidents, can result in pinched nerves and pain. Subluxations of the spine also can cause nerves to become pinched.

By utilizing chiropractic care to realign the spine and release tense muscles, the initial cause of the pinched nerve can be corrected. Following that adjustment with massage therapy eases tense muscles and tissues, bringing relief and relaxation.


A major cause of tension headaches is tight muscles in the neck and shoulders. These tight muscles restrict blood flow to the brain, leading to the searing pain you experience when you have a headache.

A chiropractic adjustment can release the spine and heavily tense shoulder muscles that contribute to headaches. Coming in following an adjustment with massage on those neck and shoulder muscles promotes healthy blood flow to the brain, eases tension, and gives you a sense of relief from pain you may not have experienced in a long time.

Joint Pain

Aching, stiff joints are a common problem, especially for older adults. Whether the joint pain comes from arthritis, a lingering injury, or just the conditions of age, it can cause a decrease in mobility and enjoyment of daily activities.

Chiropractic adjustments can help correct the condition that lead up to the joint pain, such as a spinal misalignment that resulted in a posture adjustment and more pressure on certain joints. Massage can relieve the pain and tension in muscles surrounding the joint, increasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation that leads to pain.

What Happens During Chiropractic Massage?

In many cases, your chiropractic massage session will run concurrently with your regular chiropractic treatment.

Evaluation & Treatment Plan

Your chiropractic care will begin with a full medical history and intake to determine the type and severity of your pain, as well as the path forward with your treatment.

If you’ve had any imaging done prior to seeing a chiropractor, your chiropractor will review the images. If you haven’t had any X-rays taken, your chiropractor may ask you to get some to get a better idea of any underlying problems you may have.

At your first appointment, your chiropractor will discuss with you the type and severity of your pain, how long you’ve been dealing with it, your medical history, and your goals for treatment.

The chiropractor also will conduct a brief physical examination to check for any obvious problems as well as evaluate your range of motion.

Once the examination and intake are done, your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan that, if appropriate, will include chiropractic massage.

This treatment plan outlines your course and method of treatment, your goals, and any at-home exercises your chiropractor thinks will support your care.


Treatment can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on your condition and its severity. This treatment may mean you’re in the chiropractor’s office multiple times a week, especially if your chiropractor splits your adjustments and massage into separate sessions.

Your chiropractor will gently adjust your spine to release any subluxations and correct any major muscle problems. The adjustment then will be followed up, either in the same or a separate session, with a massage therapy session.


As you progress toward your goals, you move into maintenance phase.

At this stage, your treatments will decrease in frequency to once a month, or possibly even as you feel necessary. Adjustments and massage will still be performed, but the goal of these sessions is to support your healing and reduce the chances that you will re-injure yourself.

Will Insurance Cover Chiropractic Massage?

Whether chiropractic massage is covered by your medical insurance is dependent largely upon the conditions of your plan.

To be sure your chiropractic massage sessions will be covered, contact your insurance company before you begin treatment.

Promote Health with Chiropractic Massage in Eugene

At Eugene Family Chiropractic, we believe that massage can support and amplify the health benefits our patients already derive from chiropractic adjustments. Pairing your chiropractic care with massage therapy can give you better outcomes and faster relief from your symptoms. Our experienced chiropractic team works with you to create a comprehensive, holistic plan for treatment to help you reach your health goals. Schedule a massage appointment today!