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Question: I think my back might be out of alignment. Can a massage help or do I need to see a chiro?

Asked by MeghanO 4 years ago

16 answers

I'm embarrassed to admit that I have a bad habit of cracking my back. Now it hurts if I don't crack it myself everyday. Who is the right person to fix the cricks in my back?

Therapeutic Massage, Chiropractic, Alexander Technique, Stretching

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Can you help out?

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auroraaromatica 4 years ago

Hi MeghanO, reading your question may me grimace a little bit. I used to see a Chiropractor about 5 years+ for various back complaints which had built up over the years from falls, horses falling on me etc, but hated it every time and it never lasted.

Now that I am a Complementary Therapist, I have trained in a Therapy called Neuro Skeletal Re Alignment Therapy which I would not have known about until I was a body for someone for their exam. That day changed me forever.
NSRT as it is also known as, is a gentle therapy which is non invasive, therefore no cracking is done to body or stress put to your mind. Without removing any clothes, the therapist uses their middle fingers to stimulate specific nerve points around the body, relaxing both body and mind.

This stimulation will send messages using the neuro-feedback loop via the reflex arc (through the central nervous system) . The re-aligning of muscles, ligaments & tendons will then begin.
Therefore the therapy treats the WHOLE person & not just the symptom.

If I can help you any further regarding the therapy, please refer to my website http://www.aurora-aromatica.com or send me an email using the website to help you locate a Practitioner.

Wishing you good health,

Answer Comments

MeghanO 4 years ago

Thanks so much! I'll look into NSRT, and sorry for making you grimace. Haha

Other answers (15)

AngelaNorton 4 years ago

Hello Megan,
You should always discuss any medical problems firstly with your GP. If you then want to look into complimentary health I would definately recommend an osteopath or chiropracter, they are highly trained and skilled in these areas, you need to establish what is causing the problem. If they feel it is a postural problem they might suggest seeing an Alexander Technique consultant, or if it is a specific recurring tight muscle that is pulling you out of alignment, they can usually treat you or may suggest a course of massage, to relax the muscles, often it is a collection of things, but they should be your first port of call in my opinion. Hope this is of help.

Sources: Personal opinion

Answer Comments

sa411 4 years ago

May I ask why you think this? There is no harm in receiving a massage first, it is always beneficial. If that does not work then by all means consult an osteopath or chiropracter.

Best of luck

AndrewWolfeLMP 4 years ago

I have had patients complaining of their "back going out". I think this is a misconception. The fascia system which is made up of the muscle, ligaments, connective tissue and tendons, may in fact be part of the solution of alignment. Stretching as well as massage helps to maintain and restore alignment, unless something more serious is wrong. If there is pain which is chronic or worsens, further assessment with your doctor or health care profession would be wise.

Sources: http://www.harmonymassagetherapy.com

AlanaScott 4 years ago

Sounds like your very active and stand for long periods of time, hence your spinal alignment seems to be compromised from the constant pressure on your joints. I always recommend, Physical Therapy(or stretching), Massage(more therapeutic) and finally Chiropractic on a monthly base. Why monthly? Your body will eventually heal itself once you get into a routine of these therapies, engaging muscles and joints to fix your structure naturally. Try Yoga for an awesome stretch and workout. Good Luck.

Sources: http://www.trechicsalon.com

LOVAstyle 4 years ago

Stretching and strengthening the muscles in your back including along the spine would be beneficial. Pilates is an excellent way to accomplish this. Pilates develops the core muscles and improves joint mobility. First and foremost if you are experiencing pain and/or discomfort, you should see a doctor before starting any exercise/stretching program.

Fitinfitness 4 years ago

please see Osteopath , find one from British osteopath institue

Sources: http://www.bso.ac.uk/

Crystalharmony1 4 years ago

Massage definitely help with releasing muscle tension which releases bones connected to the tendons and some massage therapist also alignment the body in more of a gradual approach.

reSource-therapy 4 years ago

I have discovered that over the years of seeing chiropractors (and I saw a lot of them) that my problems seemed to recur more frequently. So I finally found myofascial release and craniosacral therapy to help. It completely gave me back the use of my body which I had destroyed as a practicing figurative sculptor. I had gotten to the point where I couldn't even hold a plate in my hands without dropping it.

Both the craniosacral therapy and the myofascial release are amazingly gentle, using approximately a nickel's worth of pressure on the body. The form of myofascial release I practice sets up a fulcrum so the body can unwind around that. MFR works primarily with the body's own fascia which is generally the culprit when a bone is getting tugged out of alignment. The CST works with the dura mater, the covering over the brain and spinal cord. Releasing any restrictions in the dura mater allows the nervous system to operate more cohesively. It also is deeply relaxing and allows the pelvis and entire spine to align naturally without any force. This allows the body's own wisdom to dictate how much of what happens during a session. It is unbelievably kind and gently AND effective!

Sources: http://www.upledger.com, http://www.resource-therapy.com

brittvp 4 years ago

When this happens, you are cracking the pockets of lubrication in your joints so my suggestion would be to stop cracking your back, even though you'll feel the need, and eventually the desire will go away. There is no one who is trained enough to pop the vertebral columns in your back.

Answer Comments

ambience-cupar 4 years ago

Firstly, much sympathy about your back it can really make you feel miserable when you are in pain. I actually learned something new today when I read all the comments, so I too will be doing some homework.

Where I work in Cupar, Fife I am extremely lucky. The Rejuvenate Clinic has a Chiropractor that I can refer clients too and they in turn refer clients to me. A massage prior to receiving treatment from a Chiropractor can really help to ease the muscles and hence reduce the tension and ultimately some of the pain. All of the advice on this subject has been really insightful. Please let me know how you get on.

Angelica 4 years ago

Dear Meghan - the tension in various muscles would surely have created the situation where the misalignment occurred, therefore massage therapy to release that tension and re-balance the structures would be my choice. If there has been too much activity in the head and, for too long, too little heed paid to what the body was saying, the massage fills in the gaps by relaying feedback to the brain and helps the release/s to occur.
Personally, I give homework and stretches to continue this activity afterwards in order to remind the body to maintain it's new found balance.

Basically, any form of therapy that addresses the imbalance within the soft tissues is simply relaying the (frequently ignored) messages from the muscles to the brain to allow for re-adjustment so essentially, you choose the method with which you resonate the most, and a therapist you can trust, but to do that, you have to trust your own instinct first.

Enjoy the journey - Angela.

the-chattanoogan-spa 4 years ago

If you can do both together it is definitely beneficial. If you go to the chiro only, your muscles will pull your back into the original position. If you get a massage only, the bones being out of alignment will tighten your muscles right back up. If you get a massage first to loosen the muscles and then get an alignment, it works well together to help line everything up to where it needs to be. ;) Feel better!

PaolaEnergya 4 years ago

Hi Meghan,

As you can see there are plenty of techniques that you can try.
To summarise, you need a whole strategy to tackle your condition:
- exercise to strengthen the muscles
- yoga or Pilates to lengthen the muscles and therefore prevent injuries
- massage/chiropractic/osteopathy/physiotherapy etc to work on the structure of your body (muscles, tendons, fascia, bones)
- Alexander Technique or other forms of postural corrections to change the way you use your body and improve its alignment
- relaxation techniques to improve your overall wellbeing; even a bad night's sleep can cause the muscles in your back to tense up

Just in case have some X-rays to rule out any issue with your vertebrae and intervertebral discs.

All the best,

Sources: http://www.energya.co.uk

tink10 4 years ago

Cracking your back sound awful doesn't it, but actually it is not bones crunching together but Pockets of fluid popping and bursting like when you pop the air pockets in plastic wrap, Stop doing it! Good luck with what ever route you chose to take to help ease your discomfort.

PulferHolistics 4 years ago


I think if you are really concerned with your back you should see a physiotherapist you can get referred by your GP (make sure you ask that you want a referral to a physio) or go private - just make sure you check their credentials first. In tern the physio may reccommend complementary health practitioners such as chiropractics or osteopaths who will look at manipulation to realign.

Hope that helps,


niamelt 4 years ago

Find out whether there's a MELT class or workshop near you. MELT is a self-treatment that uses soft foam rollers and small balls to rehydrate the connective tissue (fascia) and realign the joints using manual therapy techniques. You can find out more about MELT here: http://www.meltmethod.com

I've been doing MELT for several years now, and my back and knees feel so much better than they used to. I used to crack my back all the time but I haven't had the urge to in a very long time.

Sources: http://www.meltmethod.com

stretchifycom 1 year ago

Hello Meghan!

Why don't you give a go to a stretching routine that can definitely help... or at least you can try it and she if it makes you feeling better!

There are many stretching options like: cat stretch, seated forward bend, back extension lying in prone position, the seated torso twist or the pelvic tilt etc

Sources: http://www.stretchify.com/back-stretches/

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