Massage and Chiropractic, What's the Difference?

Some of us may believe that massage and chiropractic are the same.

So just to break it down first, starting off from massage,

Intentionally what we are trying to do is release muscle knots, muscle achiness, muscle tensions, soreness, from the buildup of the lactic acid from all our day-in-day-out activities.


When we talk about chiropractic, what we are actually referring to is the spinal movement. Each specific segment is controlling 3 major parts.

  1. Myotomes: Muscle Activity
  2. Dermatomes: Skin Sensations
  3. Internal Organs

When we hunch, the muscles feel tight and feel tense most of the time.


Is it a good or bad thing? What controls what?


The muscles are tight and tense. They are trying to bring us from a hunched position to an upright position. So why is it that we feel tense in a hunched position? It is because we are pulling onto the nerve roots by the neck. When we are hunching, it strains on the nerve roots. Hence, the muscles do not relax.


Each specific level controls the dermatomes, myotomes and internal organs. If we look at the myotomes,

the first couple of levels - C1, C2 governs the movement of our heads looking down.

C3 governs our head’s sideways movement.

C4 would be our scapular elevations or Shrugging.

C5 would be shoulder abductions or Raising of arms.


As for skin sensations,

C4 would affect the shoulders,

C5 would affect the side of the arms,

C6 all the way to the base of the thumb,

C7 and C8 govern the rest of the hands.


Having understood that most of the bodily sensations come from the nerve roots, if there are any irritations onto the nerve roots coming out from the spine, it will surely show up on our muscles first. So if we continuously experience on and off patterns or signals of bodily aches, such as headaches, migraines, tingling sensations going down the arms, lower back pain or menstrual pain for females, how do we differentiate whether we have a muscular related problem or spine-related problem?


Hormonal and emotional components also come into play. If we were to be under heavy stress 24/7, the muscles wouldn’t be able to relax anyway.


But after all is said and done, when was the last time we had our spine checked and examined?



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