Chiropractor Questions Back Pain

Should I see a chiropractor or massage therapist first?

I'm 25 years old and my lower back has been hurting me for one month. Do you think I should go see a chiropractor or massage therapist for my back pain? I'm not really sure what the cause is.

16 Answers

Try Massage first
A chiropractic examination and full spinal adjustment will delineate the cause of the pain, as it may not be simple muscle.
Great question! The answer is, actually, pretty straight forward because muscles do not contract or tighten spontaneous without a reason. So muscle spasm, big "knots" in muscles, loss of movement due to muscle tightness, etc. is a response to something abnormal as the body attempts to adapt to that irritation. That irritation can be faulty joint function, poor posture, emotional stressors, nerve inflammation or others. With all that being said...the best place to start is with your doctor of chiropractic. At our office, should the need for massage therapy be present...we have an entire team of exceedingly capable licensed massage therapists to help and aid the restoration of pain free, normal function.
Chiropractor is a Dr and massage therapist is not. See a Dr of Chiropractic first
You should always see the chiropractor first to diagnose you correctly, then he should suggest if you should seek a massage first or after and that is determined by the nature of the given condition. Visual and diagnostic imaging may be required to rule out other possible causes for your condition.

Thank you,

Dr. Majed Nagoulat, D.C.
If your issue is bones, see a chiro. If the issue is muscles, see a massage therapist. Your're 25, which is young, but I don't know if you lift heavy things, do crossfit, what your job is, etc. I'd get a massage to loosen things up and then see the chiro.
If it is just muscle soreness or tightness from improper lifting or posture than a massage therapist might be able to help. Anything more than that and chiropractic is the way to go.
Chiropractors are professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations. 'Subluxation' means dislocate or misalignment of the bones in the spine. The chiropractic approach to healthcare is holistic, meaning that it addresses your overall health utilizing Spinal Manipulation, Physiotherapy, Physical therapy, etc..
Either option is great. A chiropractor is a state licensed physician specializing in correction of spinal misalignments and neurological deficits (subluxation) and will perform a thorough exam before providing any services. A massage therapist, on the other hand, is certified by the state to perform massage therapy to help deal with muscular issues.

Dr. Jake Tucker
Muscles get tight, ropey and knotty for many reasons. One of the most common reasons is overuse combined with mil joint dysfunction. You get a massage and you feel better today, but the problems come back. If you see a chiropractor first, you can eliminate the primary reason for those tight sore muscles. Many chiropractors have massage therapy within their office and can even bill the procedure to your health insurance. 


You need to see the chiropractor first---chiropractors are doctors---they can determine if your back pain is serious or life-threatening or is just painful.

Dr. Dave
Massage therapists do not have diagnostic training, so to determine the cause of your pain and recommend treatment, you should go to your chiropractor first.
Thanks for the question!

Dr. Armour, DC
Chiropractor first
Since you are unsure of the cause of your pain, I recommend going to a Chiropractor first. They can perform an exam to diagnose the cause of pain. Many Chiro offices also have a massage therapist on site.
It doesn't really matter. But I would recommend massage first to loosen the muscles and make the adjustment easier.
Chiropractic and massage therapy go hand in hand. But, I would suggest seeing a Chiropractor first to get a musculoskeletal exam and receive a diagnosis on what is causing your back pain. Chiropractors specialize in the treatment of back pain and conservative care should be your first choice for care.